Mexican soldiers and police Tuesday killed 10 kidnappers when they stormed a house in northern Durango state and rescued a group of hostages, local authorities said.
"The victims were being held captive by some 20 gunmen who, on seeing themselves surrounded opened fire," an official with the Durango Attorney General's Office told AFP.
In the shootout with state police and soldiers, 10 of the kidnappers were killed, the official added.
Acting on telephone tip, police first approached the house in the town of Cuencame by helicopter, the daily El Universal said on its website.
Gunmen inside the house opened fire, wounding a state police chief and his bodyguard.
During the gun battle that followed, which lasted more than four hours, some of the kidnappers managed to escape aboard pickup trucks, the paper reported.
Authorities did not say how many hostages were rescued in the operation. In 2008, there were some 1,000 kidnappings in Mexico, although authorities believe only one out of three cases are reported to police.
Elsewhere in northern Mexico, 14 people were killed on Monday in Chihuahua state - ground zero for drug-related violence - including four people who were returning from a funeral of a murder victim in Ciudad Juarez, and a man shot to death in a hospital in Nuevo Casas Grandes.
President Felipe Calderon has dispatched some 50,000 soldiers and thousands of police in a nationwide clampdown to confront the country's powerful drug cartels, but has so far failed to stem drug-related violence that has claimed over 14,000 lives in the past three years.