CULIACAN - Armed gunmen on Monday shot dead at least eight police officers on patrol in Mexico's notorious northwestern drug trafficking state of Sinaloa, justice officials said.
The attack took place near Angostura town, around 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Culiacan, the capital of the state which is the base for the powerful Sinaloa drug gang.
"There were at least eight people killed, five state police officers and three from the municipal force," a spokesperson from the state prosecutor's office told AFP.
Officials said they found an abandoned vehicle riddled with bullet holes and marked with an "X" - an identifying sign often used by the Sinaloa gang after a hit job - near the scene of the attack.
Headed by Atta
Sinaloa state has registered some 1,700 suspected drug-related deaths so far this year, making it one of the three deadliest in the country.
Clashes between rival drug gangs and with security forces have left more than 28,000 people dead in rising violence since President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on organized crime in 2006, according to official figures.
Further north, two headless bodies were found hanging from their feet from a bridge near the border city of Tijuana, across from San Diego, the state attorney general's office said Monday.
Their two heads were found in a nearby car, along with a message from a drug-trafficking group, said an official from northwestern Baja California, without giving further details.