A spate of attacks on taxis in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco has left 12 taxi drivers or passengers dead, just hours before the Mexican Open tennis tournament is scheduled to start. Photo: Reuters

Mexico City - A clash between soldiers and alleged criminals left 14 dead in the eastern Mexican city of Xalapa, authorities said Friday.

Two soldiers were among those killed in the clash late Thursday, while the 12 others killed were alleged criminals, said Rene Aguilar Paez, Army commander of the Sixth Military Region.

The shootout in Xalapa, the capital of the eastern Mexican state of Veracruz, lasted several hours and ended early Friday. It apparently started after the Army discovered a safe house sheltering armed people.

State police provided support to the military. Strreets were closed off and security forces reportedly used tear gas.

Mexico suffered record violence in 2010, with a total of 15 273

killings attributed to organized crime, according to final figures released on Wednesday. -