Battles erupt after El Chapo's son is reported detained in Mexico

Vehicles burn in the street Thursday in Culiacan in Mexico's Sinaloa state. Copyright AFP - Getty Images
By Reuters with NBC News World News
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Several prisoners escaped during hours of fighting in Culiacán after reports spread of the arrest of Ovidio Guzmán.


MEXICO CITY — Heavy gunfire on Thursday rocked several neighborhoods in the Mexican city of Culiacán, home to Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán's Sinaloa cartel, after security forces were reported to have detained a son of the notorious kingpin.

The Mexican networks Televisa and Milenio both said security forces had confirmed the capture of Ovidio Guzmán, who, along with his brothers, is believed to be influential in the cartel since their father was jailed in the United States.

A senior government source told Reuters that the reports were correct. Milenio broadcast a photograph that it said showed Ovidio Guzmán in detention.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told reporters that his security cabinet would give information about the situation in Sinaloa later on Thursday.

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State police confirmed to Reuters that several prisoners escaped during the chaos, which lasted for hours. Video showed a group of at least 20 people running in the streets. It wasn't immediately clear how many had escaped.

Vehicles and a gas station were set on fire while cartel gunmen roamed the city in trucks, at least one of which was armed with a mounted machine gun, videos posted on social media showed. Civilians hid in the aisles of a supermarket, while others ran for cover in leafy suburban streets.

State police said there were no confirmed deaths, although two videos broadcast on Milenio showed men lying in the streets, apparently lifeless.

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