Cartel gunmen forced Mexican police to release Ovidio Guzman Lopez — one of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's sons — on Thursday following an arrest, according to a Reuters report.
Guzman Lopez, 28, is accused of drug trafficking in the U.S., including charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana.
What are the details?
Reuters reported Friday that authorities arrested Guzman Lopez but shortly afterward released him to armed cartel members.
The news agency reported that Guzman's arrest sparked gun battles as well as a prison break.
Cartel members attacked a National Guard militarized police force from within a house in Culiacan, which is the capital of Mexico's Sinaloa state. When the officers entered, they discovered Guzman Lopez and three other men.
At the time of the incident, "fighters swarmed through the city, battling police and soldiers in broad daylight," according to the report, ransacking and burning cars while gunfire erupted across the city. Several prisoners were also able to reportedly free themselves from prisons.
Disturbing footage of the melee showed heavily armed cartel members firing on police. Burning vehicles and bodies could be seen lying in the road.
Authorities were able to detain Guzman Lopez momentarily but were forced to turn him loose to protect officers and citizens' lives.
Security Minister Alfonso Durazo told the agency, "The decision was taken to retreat from the house, without Guzman, to try to avoid more violence in the area and preserve the lives of our personnel and recover calm in the city."
Cristobal Castaneda, head of security in Sinaloa, said that at least two people were killed and at least 21 other people were injured at the time of the report.
This isn't the first attack on Mexican authorities this week — at least 13 officers were killed in Michoacan, according to local authorities in the violent western state.
Jose Luis Gonzalez Meza, a lawyer for the family, revealed that Guzman Lopez was free and had been in touch with his family.
"Ovidio is alive and free," he said.
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