Seven suspected criminals, including two women, died in a shootout with marines in the north-central Mexican state of Zacatecas, the Navy Secretariat said.

Marines raided a house early Tuesday in the Centro neighborhood of Zacatecas city, the state capital, after receiving intelligence reports about illegal activities at the property, the secretariat said.

The occupants of the house opened fire on the marines, who "repelled the attack under strict compliance with the rules for the legitimate use of force by naval personnel," the secretariat said in a statement.

Marines seized six rifles, a handgun and loaded ammunition clips, the secretariat said.

The armed forces have arrested several drug cartel leaders, mainly members of the Los Zetas and Gulf cartels, who were allegedly responsible for operations in central Mexico. EFE