At least 13 suspected gang members died in a shootout with police and army troops at a checkpoint near Atimonan, a city in the central Philippine province of Quezon, media reports said Sunday.

Security forces members ordered two vans carrying the gang members to stop at a checkpoint on the Maharlika highway, The Inquirer newspaper reported, citing army spokesman Alex Capina.

The suspects responded by opening fire on the security forces members, who returned fire, killing all the people aboard the two vehicles.

A Quezon police officer was seriously wounded in the shootout, the newspaper said.

The checkpoint was established after officials received reports that criminals would be traveling through the area. EFE