Seven people were gunned down in Badiraguato, a city in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa, state prosecutors said.

Gunmen attacked the victims Saturday as they were driving in an SUV in the community of Guatenipa, the Sinaloa Attorney General's Office said.

The victims were from Tareapa, another community in the same city, the Badiraguato municipal police department said.

Badiraguato is considered the cradle of Mexico's illegal drug industry.

Some of Mexico's most dangerous and wanted drug traffickers, including Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman and the Beltran Leyva brothers - Arturo, Alfredo and Hector - were born in Badiraguato.

Sinaloa is currently the scene of a bloody turf war among several cartels.

Sinaloa is home to the drug cartel led by Guzman, who was arrested in Guatemala in 1993 and pulled off a Hollywood-style jailbreak when he escaped from the Puente Grande maximum-security prison in the western state of Jalisco on Jan. 19, 2001.

The Sinaloa organization, sometimes referred to by officials as the Pacific cartel, is the oldest drug cartel in Mexico and Guzman, considered extremely violent, is one of the most-wanted criminals in Mexico and the United States, where the Drug Enforcement Administration has offered a reward of $5 million for him.

Zambada, one of Mexico's most powerful drug traffickers, is a partner of Guzman in the Sinaloa cartel.

The Beltran Leyva cartel, for its part, is involved in smuggling cocaine, marijuana and heroin, as well as in people trafficking, money laundering, extortion, kidnapping, contract hits and arms trafficking.

The cartel has been weakened by the killings and arrests of several of its leaders, as well as infighting.

The Beltran Leyva cartel arose as a splinter group of the Sinaloa cartel.

The criminal organization was led by Arturo Beltran Leyva, who died in a shootout with marines at a luxury condo in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos state, on Dec. 16, 2009.

Two weeks after Arturo was killed, Carlos Beltran Leyva was arrested in Culiacan, the capital of Sinaloa, where he was going by the alias of Carlos Gamez.

Hector Beltran Leyva took over control of the cartel after Arturo's death, but he had to battle a rival faction led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal for control of the organization.

Valdez Villarreal, known as "La Barbie," was arrested by the Federal Police on Aug. 30, 2010. EFE