An armed group managed to free nine prisoners after setting off three car bombs and driving through a wall in a movie-like prison break in Mexico.
The incident was reported at the jail in the town of Tula in the southeastern Mexican state of Hidalgo at dawn.
The armed group aboard a Jeep and pick-up truck reportedly used the car bombs to distract prison guards before bashing down the wall and driving inside.
A shoot-out ensued, during which two members of the security forces were injured.
The group managed to free nine prisoners including a man called Jose Artemio Maldonado Mejia, AKA El Michoacano, who is said to be the regional leader of the group called Los Pueblos.
According to local media, Los Pueblos was initially started by tired residents of four Michoacan municipalities who said they took up arms in self-defence to take back their towns from the cartels terrorising the area.
However, authorities warned that they have ties to drug trafficking and work with the United Cartels. and their objective is to overpower and drive out the rival criminal group, the Jalisco Nueva Generacion Cartel.
According to Hidalgo authorities, the main objective of the prison break was to rescue El Michoacano, who was captured a few days previously on charges of homicide and kidnapping.
Authorities were first alerted to his presence in Pueblos Unidos on June 29, when he appeared in a video broadcast on social networks in which nine hooded civilians, carrying high-powered rifles, declared war on rivals in the region.
None of the escapees have been arrested, but security forces are working together to deploy an operation to find those responsible and arrest the fugitives.