Ciudad Juarez, Mexico:
A shootout between suspected drug cartel fighters killed 19 people in Chihuahua, northern Mexico, the government said on Saturday in one of the worst outbreaks of gang violence this year.
"There are two criminal groups fighting over drug trafficking routes to the United States," Chihuahua's Attorney General Cesar Peniche told Reuters.
Security forces found 18 bodies at the shooting site in the Madera community on Friday evening, and one wounded at the scene later died of his injuries, the attorney general said in a statement.
They also secured 18 long firearms, two vehicles and two grenades. The search for armed men and the investigation of the site continued.
Local media reported that the armed men belonged to groups associated with the Juarez cartel and the rival Sinaloa cartel, which Peniche believed to be correct.
On Friday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that violence among criminal groups continued despite the outbreak of the new corona virus in the country.
"It seemed at the end of March, when the corona virus spread, that we would have a significant reduction (in violence)," said Lopez Obrador. "Unfortunately, it didn't."
Last year, suspected drug cartel gunmen shot three women and six children, all members of a Mexican Mormon community, during a daytime attack while driving a car in the northern state of Sonora.