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At least five killed in shootout near Mexico's Cancun

© AFP | A Mexican federal police officer stands guard at the site where at least five people, including a ministerial police officer, were killed in Puerto Juarez, in Quintana Roo state

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - 

At least five people were killed and three others wounded in a late Friday shootout between police and criminals near the resort town of Cancun, a magnet for tourists on Mexico's Caribbean coast, local officials said.

Around 9pm (0200 GMT Saturday) unidentified gunmen opened fire after breaking into an enclosure next to a restaurant in Puerto Juarez, located some 16 kilometers (10 miles) north of the Cancun tourist area, the Quintana Roo state prosecutor's office said in a preliminary report.

"Of the five killed, one was a ministerial police agent," the statement said, adding that the four others killed apparently worked at the site.

A police commander was among the wounded, and there were no reports of tourists at the site of the shooting, the statement said.

Millions of foreign tourists, especially from the United States and Europe, visit Cancun and other nearby resorts such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum each year.

Since early 2017 however there has been an increased turf war between drug gangs in Quintana Roo.

In the first half of 2018, 279 people were murdered in the southern Mexican state in drug-related violence, according to Semaforo Delictivo, an NGO that follows drug-related crime.

© 2018 AFP