Mexico's attorney general says federal forces have clashed in at least one case with vigilantes as it tries to restore order in the western state of Michoacan after days of violence.

Jesus Murillo Karam says he doesn't have information on casualties, but local media are reporting several people have died.

Federal forces are moving into an area known as the Tierra Caliente, where so-called self-defense groups have taken up arms against the Knights Templar drug cartel.

Interior Minister Jose Osorio Chong announced a federal takeover of the area on Monday and urged the vigilantes to put down their arms and return to their normal lives. The federal takeover began overnight and gunfights were reported early Tuesday.

Murillo Karam spoke to the Televisa network.