Six gunmen were killed and two others wounded in a battle with Mexican marines in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan, authorities in Sinaloa state told Efe Friday.

The clash raged for more than three hours Thursday night after the gunmen attacked municipal police with grenades.

The incident followed six gangland killings on Wednesday in the Sinaloa town of Navolato, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Culiacan, the state capital.

Sinaloa is home to the drug cartel led by Joaquin "El Chapo" (Shorty) Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001.

The state is currently the scene of a bloody turf war between Guzman and the renegade Beltran Leyva outfit, a conflict blamed for 56 deaths so far this month.

A total of 15,270 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico last year, and around 43,000 people have died since President Felipe Calderon declared war on the country's cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.