Federal forces to take over security in part of western Mexico as vigilantes clash with cartel

A top Mexican official says federal forces will take over security in a large swath of a western Mexico state where dozens of vigilante groups have formed to fight drug traffickers.

Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong says federal forces with support from Michoacan state police will patrol an area in the state known as Tierra Caliente, the home base of the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Osorio Chong made the announcement Monday after a meeting called by the state's governor following a weekend of firefights between the so-called self-defense groups and drug traffickers.

Osorio Chong says federal authorities will go after anyone acting outside the law. He calls for self-defense group members to return to their villages.