Seven armed individuals were killed in a shootout with a convoy of soldiers in northeastern Mexico, military officials said.

The shootout occurred Friday on a rural road near installations of state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos Mexicanos on the outskirts of Ciudad Victoria, capital of Tamaulipas state.

The clash erupted when the convoy came upon a group of people wielding rifles and riding in two vehicles, the officials said.

Five men and two women were killed in the exchange of gunfire, after which the soldiers seized rifles and the two vehicles.

That area of Mexico has been wracked in recent years by deadly turf battles pitting rival drug cartels. EFE