One Federal Police officer was killed and three others wounded when gunmen ambushed them on a highway in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, Mexican authorities said.

The assault took place around 10:00 a.m. Thursday on the road linking San Fernando and Reynosa, according to a statement from the Tamaulipas Coordination Group, a federal-state law enforcement task force.

Armed men traveling in several pickup trucks intercepted the police vehicle and began shooting.

The wounded officers were flown to a hospital in Monterrey, the largest city in northern Mexico.

The body of the dead officer was taken to the medical examiner's office in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas' capital.

Tamaulipas, which borders Texas, has long been the scene of conflict among rival drug cartels and between the gangs and security forces.

The federal government said last month it was deploying more security forces in Tamaulipas and planned to purge law enforcement agencies in an effort to rein-in violence blamed on the Gulf and Los Zetas drug cartels. EFE