At least 12 died in a series of clashes between the Jalisco cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel on Friday in Mexico's Zacatecas state.

According to Proceso Magazine, the first gunbattle started when members of the Jalisco Cartel New Generation or Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG) clashed with the Sinaloa Cartel gunmen along a dirt road that linked to communities of San Martín de la Palma and Peñitas de Oriente in Valparaiso city.

They then both fought with Mexico's National Guard and the army on a road that leads to La Florida in Valparaiso. The shootouts reportedly lasted hours that day.

According to Breitbart, the death toll was believed to be more than a dozen. However, authorities claimed that only eight died.

The violence continued until Saturday, as members of the Jalisco cartel ambushed a group of National Guardsmen patrolling the state. The gunmen reportedly attacked National Guard agents with high-caliber weapons while at the Federal Highway 44 that connects the municipalities of Fresnillo and Valparaiso.

Since they were outnumbered, the Guardsmen called for backup, and they repelled the attack with the support of helicopter gunships and other law enforcement officers that came to their aid.

Authorities have yet to give an official death toll, but local news outlets reported several dead gunmen and destroyed police vehicles.

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Mexican Drug Cartels Hung Bodies From Mexico Overpasses

The state of Zacatecas recently made headlines after more than a dozen bodies were found hanging from overpasses. Last week, six human bodies were found hanging from a bridge and a tree in Fresnillo.

In a statement, the Secretary of Public Security of Zacatecas state said three bodies were hanged from an overpass and three others from a tree. Reuters reported that another two bodies were discovered on the ground of a property in a nearby community. 

The grisly scenarios came days after Mexican drug cartels' gunmen hung 13 bodies of men from two separate overpasses in the state.

Reports said gunmen had hung three bodies from a bridge in the town of Fresnillo, while the second incident took place in Cuauhtémoc town, where 10 bodies were hung on another bridge.

Authorities said the 10th body was found on the ground, seemingly falling before officers arrived. The state of Zacatecas released a statement acknowledging the "atrocious act" and noting that all 10 victims were men of various ages.

A state government official earlier told Reuters that the recent increase in deadly violence resulted from disputes between two Mexican drug cartels fighting for control over drug trafficking routes.

Based on official data, around 948 people were killed by violence in Zacatecas during the first 10 months of the year. It was higher than the 342 recorded deaths in the same period a year earlier.

Turf Wars Between the Jalisco Cartel and Sinaloa Cartel

Most of the cartel violence in Zacatecas is reportedly connected to two main turf wars between Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Cartel. There is also a second turf war between factions of the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas.

Mexican drug cartels usually make public displays of bodies to taunt their rivals or authorities. It is also sometimes used to scare local residents.

Security experts noted that Zacatecas had not been an important market for drug dealing, but it is crucial in transporting fentanyl from Mexico's South Pacific ports to the U.S. border.

The Courier Journal reported that Zacatecas links the center and west of Mexico to the American border, a key territory for drug-trafficking routes.

The Jalisco cartel is currently the Sinaloa Cartel's main rival. The CJNG came out from the Sinaloa Cartel in 2010 after the death of former Sinaloa Cartel capo Ignacio Coronel, known as "Nacho."

The two Mexican drug cartels remain as the two most dominant organized crime groups in Mexico.

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This article is owned by Latin Post.

Written by: Joshua Summers

WATCH: Mexican Drug Wars: Town cut off by Cartel Fighting - From Al Jazeera English