MEXICO CITY - Ten people were reported killed in clashes on Sunday between armed groups in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, which is plagued by battles between rival drug gangs.

Skirmishes broke out in two communities near the town of Apatzingan, a drug gang stronghold, according to local media. State officials could not be immediately reached by Reuters and a federal official could not confirm details of the battles.

The dead were reportedly members of vigilante groups that have recently sprung up in the region, claiming that state and federal police are not protecting them from criminal gangs.

Media reports said groups armed with high-powered rifles and grenades attacked vigilante checkpoints early Sunday.

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