(Mexico) Mexican authorities have transferred to shelters more than 4,000 people who had taken refuge in their homes after several days of violence linked to organized crime in a town in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico.

The Chiapas prosecutor’s office said in a statement Saturday that it had “rescued 4,187 people” who were “hiding in their homes after the acts of violence perpetrated” in the town of Tula.

Authorities inspected 17 burned properties, including homes and businesses, where two deceased people were found, including a minor.

On Sunday, the prosecutor’s office confirmed the arrest of six people who carried firearms without a license in the region in an operation that involved members of the army and the national guard.

According to the Mexican press,  several armed men burst into Tula, firing shots and setting fire to homes and businesses for several days.

According to the daily Reforma, they had called on all young people in the region to “participate in criminal activities” alongside them.

Violence has intensified in Chiapas state due to rivalries between the Jalisco Nueva Generación and Sinaloa cartels, Mexico’s two largest criminal gangs.  

According to the Insight Crime analysis center, the conflict is over control of border towns, a key area for drug and arms trafficking as well as the passage of migrants crossing Mexico to reach the United States.

Since December 2006, when the federal government launched a military operation against drug trafficking, more than 450,000 people have been killed in Mexico, according to official figures.