Authorities in the drug-plagued northern Mexico state of Sinaloa said Friday that five soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army convoy.
A Sinaloa state official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said the attack left the flaming hulks of army vehicles scattered on a road on the outskirts of the state capital, Culiacán.
Sinaloa state is home to Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel, but attacks on the army are rare there.
It was the worst attack on military personnel since 2015, when drug cartel gunmen in the state of Jalisco shot down an army helicopter with a rocket launcher, killing 10 people.
The Sinaloa Cartel has been known to avoid direct confrontations with the army, but the rival Jalisco Cartel — which is reportedly seeking to move in on Sinaloa territories — has attacked the military.
The Jalisco Cartel is known for extreme violence.
Meanwhile, authorities in Jalisco said Thursday they have found a total of nine bodies near a lake popular with tourists.
Jalisco state Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer said the bodies of eight men and one woman have not yet been identified, in part because of the rural nature of the area and the lack of witnesses.
The bodies have been found over the last few days in a river that leads out of the eastern end of Lake Chapala, near the border with the state of Michoacan. In 2013, 64 bodies were found in mass graves in area nearby.
That is the opposite end of the lake from the town of Chapala, popular among tourists and American retirees.