State police found an SUV containing "three rockets" that apparently belonged to a criminal organization in Piedras Negras, a border city in northern Mexico, Coahuila Public Safety Secretary Jorge Luis Moran Delgado said.

The live rockets and several grenades were found by Coahuila state police special operations unit officers Saturday in an SUV abandoned by criminals during a chase, Moran Delgado told Milenio Television.

The officers were attacked and the vehicle was damaged when it hit a house, forcing the four occupants to flee on foot, with other gunmen providing them with protection, the state official said.

An inspection of the abandoned vehicle turned up the weapons, Moran Delgado said.

The criminals "managed to recover" a launcher from the SUV, but they left the three rockets behind, the Coahuila public safety secretary said.

The weapons will be turned over to the army for destruction, Moran Delgado said.

Police also found portable radios and batteries in the abandoned SUV, the state official said.

"This is not the first time in Coahuila" that "rockets and rocket launchers" have been used, Moran Delgado said.

The state police's special operations unit was attacked with two rockets in March, Moran Delgado said, adding that a police vehicle was damaged in the incident.

"We must investigate how it is possible that these types of weapons ended up in the hands of these criminals, how it is possible that they entered the country," the public safety secretary said.

The Gulf cartel has been battling Los Zetas for control of Coahuila and smuggling routes into the United States.

Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, the top Los Zetas cartel boss, was killed in a shootout with marines in Coahuila state on Oct. 7. EFE