10 gunmen, 2 soldiers die in Mexico gunbattle

Mexican authorities say 10 gunmen and two soldiers have been killed during a battle in a western Mexican state plagued by drug trafficking violence.

Sinaloa state police spokesman Edmundo Apodaca says the shootout Wednesday morning in the town of Guasave began with assailants opening fire on a group of soldiers.

Apodaca says it's not clear what drug syndicate the gunmen belong to. But the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa is the home base of the drug cartel by the same name. The Sinaloa drug cartel is led by Mexico's most wanted drug lord, Joaquin Guzman Loera, also known as El Chapo.

The area has seen an increase in violence as the Sinaloa cartel fights drug traffickers with the Beltran Levya and the Zetas gangs.