Five suspected criminals died in a shootout with army troops in a mountainous area in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, state prosecutors said.

Soldiers from the 19th Infantry Battalion killed the gunmen Sunday afternoon in El Guayabal, a community near the resort city of Zihuatanejo, a Guerrero Attorney General's Office spokesman told Efe.

The gunmen attacked the soldiers, who returned fire, killing the five unidentified men.

Soldiers found 10 rifles, ammunition clips and ammunition among the belongings of the gunmen.

The area where the shootout occurred in the mountains of Zihuatanejo, near the border with Michoacan state, is the scene of regular shootouts involving drug traffickers.

The Familia Michoacana and Los Caballeros Templarios cartels both operate in the area, a prime poppy-growing region.

Neighboring Michoacan has been plagued by a wave of violence blamed on the turf war between the Los Caballeros Templarios and La Familia Michoacana cartel.

Los Caballeros Templarios was created in March 2011 by former members of the La Familia Michoacana.

Servando Gomez Martinez shares the leadership of Los Caballeros Templarios with Enrique Plancarte.

Illegal logging is also common in the area, which is closely watched by environmentalists, with rival loggers sometimes engaging in shootouts. EFE