Two bodyguards were killed Tuesday in an attack on the public safety secretary of the northern Mexican town of Gran Morelos, the Chihuahua state government said.

Miguel Angel Gomez Carrera, his wife and the couple's two young children were wounded in the assault, which took place in Chihuahua city, the state capital.

All four members of the family are listed in serious but stable condition at a hospital in the city, state Attorney General's Office spokesman Carlos Gonzalez told Efe.

Gomez Carrera and his family traveled in one vehicle and his escorts, identified only as a man and a woman, accompanied the secretary in a pickup truck.

The two vehicles headed down a street in Chihuahua city when assailants blocked their path and started shooting, Gonzalez said.

Gomez Carrera took over responsibility for public safety in Gran Morelos, a town of around 4,000 people, after the Nov. 21 arrest of predecessor Ramon Muñoz Cepeda, who was apprehended by army troops along with a reputed drug trafficker and several other suspects.

The town's current mayor, Ricardo Solis Manriquez, was elected in July 2010, but did not take office until late last month due to injuries he received in a September 2010 attack.

Mexican federal authorities view municipal officials as particularly susceptible to being threatened or co-opted by the country's powerful drug cartels.