Violent clashes after the arrest of the son of "El Chapo" in Mexico

Mexican authorities have arrested a son of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, as fierce clashes erupted on Thursday night between security forces and armed gangs in Culiacan, a stronghold of the jailed drug dealer in the United States.

A man who identified himself as Ovidio Guzman Lopez was arrested along with three other people after an attack on a National Guard patrol, according to State Secretary for Security and Protection of Citizens Alfonso Duraso.

Heavy exchanges of fire between armed civilians and Mexican security forces took place in the northwestern city of Culiacan on the streets of the city of 750,000 people, as well as car bombs, forcing residents to stay home, an AFP correspondent reported.

The security cabinet met on Thursday evening following the violence, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's office said, without giving further details.

In a statement, the governor of Sinaloa, the country's most violent state, called on residents "not to go out on the roads and to respect official instructions on developments."

Armed civilians blocked several streets in the city, which appeared to be a battlefield, and several residents had to flee, leaving their cars on the streets, an AFP correspondent said.

Mexican media reported that one of El Chapo's sons, Ovidio Guzman Lopez, was apparently stopped by security forces, prompting a response from armed civilians, and some information said he was killed during his arrest.

No official information has been released so far about Joaquin Guusman's son.

The influential Sinaloa cartel is divided between the sons of El Chapo and one of its founders, Ismail El Mayo Zambada.

El Chapo was sentenced in July to life in prison in the United States.


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