Six people were killed and 11 others wounded in a battle between Mexican federal police and gunmen in the southern state of Guerrero, authorities said Thursday.

Four gunmen, a police officer and a civilian died in the clash, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office told Efe, adding that all of the surviving wounded were police.

The confrontation erupted late Wednesday night, when gunmen opened fire at police patrolling a stretch of highway in Cutzamala de Pinzon, a town on Guerrero's border with the central state of Mexico.

The civilian fatality was the driver of a passing truck, the AG's office spokesman said.

Cutzamala lies in what is regarded as a particularly dangerous area of Guerrero, a state wracked by a bitter turf struggle among rival drug cartels.

Gunfights in the streets and discoveries of mutilated bodies are all too common in Guerrero, especially in the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where the drug war has claimed 370 lives in recent years.