17 killed in Mexico drug violence

ACAPULCO: Drug-related violence left 17 people dead in Mexico's southern Guerrero state, including four people who were decapitated, authorities said.

Five police officers were shot to death by a lone gunman in Tulchingo, near Acapulco, the officials said. One more lawman died later of wounds.

Five more bodies, including two decapitated ones, were found in the Native American village of Tres Palos, west of the resort.

Meanwhile, four civilians were also found dead in and around Acapulco.

In addition, two bodies of decapitated men were found overnight on Scenic Avenue in downtown Acapulco, officials said.

The states of Guerrero and neighboring Michoacan are largely under the control of the vicious "La Familia" drug cartel, one of the most powerful trafficking groups in the country.

Rival drug cartels are fighting deadly battles over lucrative drug routes to the north into the United States.

Drug-related crime has left more than 15,000 dead in the past three years in Mexico, despite a nationwide clampdown on the growing violence involving the deployment of some 50,000 government troops.