Eight suspected criminals died in separate shootouts with federal security forces in Guerrero, a state in southern Mexico, officials said.

The first shootout occurred around 10:00 a.m. Saturday in Zumpango del Rio, a city near Chilpancingo, the state capital.

Federal Police officers engaged a group of suspected gunmen in a shootout at a bar in Zumpango del Rio, killing four suspected criminals, a Guerrero Attorney General's Office spokesman told Efe.

The shootout unfolded as hundreds of people attended a festival in downtown Zumpango del Rio, where federal forces have been deployed to maintain order.

The second gunfight happened in Pantla, a community outside the city of Zihuatanejo.

Army troops engaged a group of gunmen in a shootout in the community, killing four civilians, the AG's office said.

The incident occurred around 11:00 a.m. Saturday when the gunmen attacked an army convoy passing through Pantla.

The soldiers returned fire, killing four suspected criminals, the AG's office said.

The dead civilians have not been identified, prosecutors said.

The Federal Police, army and state police have expanded their operations in Guerrero in recent days in an effort to maintain order, especially on the border with Michoacan state, which has been partially militarized due to clashes between vigilantes and the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel.

Vigilante groups control several towns in central Guerrero near Chilpancingo and have conducted operations against the Los Rojos gang, which was formed by former members of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel. EFE