9 slain in Mexican town as cartels clash in western state of Sinaloa

Officials say armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field. Officials called the assault part of a war between Mexico's two most powerful cartels.

Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez said Wednesday the town of El Platanar de Los Ontiveros had become the subject of a dispute between the Sinaloa cartel controlled by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva cartel. The Sinaloa cartel is headed by kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, while the second cartel has allied with the Zetas, a cartel founded by ex-members of the Mexican army's special forces.

Higuera said "everything is linked to a dispute for territory and the buying and selling of drugs."