TUBUTAMA, SONORA (KOLD) - At least 21 are dead after a bloody shootout between rival drug cartels in this rural town just 25 miles southwest of Nogales.
Sonoran law enforcement was able to arrest 9 hit men, El Imparcial reported. Six were injured during the shootout.
This latest bout of violence marks the deadliest incident ever in Sonora, according to El Imparcial.
It happened between 4 and 5 p.m., Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.
The rival gangs, known as Los Zetas and the Sinaloan cartel, have been battling over access to the hilly area in and around Tubutama, an article in BorderReporter.com details.
Members of Los Zetas are stranded in the hills with the Sinaloans surrounding them, blocking off resources-- particularly gas, Michel Marizco said in the article.
Marizco recently returned from traveling in the area and was advised while in the town of Altar, Mexico that he should avoid the Tubutama because of the escalating violence.
Officials aren't sure how this affects American travelers for the upcoming holiday weekend, but Marizco noted cartels haven't targeted innocent tourists.
Stay tuned to KOLD News Live at Ten for the latest on this late breaking story and if they're are any travel advisories issued as a result.
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