TEGUCIGALPA -- Police says six alleged drug traffickers were killed and two police officers and a teenager injured in a three-hour gunbattle in a rural province in eastern Honduras.

Security Minister Oscar Alvarez says a group of criminals shot at officers when they were patrolling in the city of Catacamas, 62 miles east of the capital and near the border with Nicaragua.

After the Tuesday night clash, police arrested seven suspected criminals and confiscated an arsenal that included 19 high-powered rifles.

Alvarez said the detained suspects worked for drug cartels in the province of Olancho, a vast area used to traffic cocaine from Colombia into the United States.