Six men died in the crash of a small plane in northern Mexico and authorities are investigating the cause, officials said Wednesday, as local residents claimed gunmen shot it down.
The Cessna-type plane was found in a stream late Tuesday within the Urique municipality, located in a mountainous area of Chihuahua state, near Sinaloa state.
The pilot and five other men were among the dead, the Chihuahua state prosecutor's office said in a statement.
Several residents told local radio that the aircraft was brought down by gun fire from an armed group.
Residents say the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels have clashed in the region in recent days and that gunmen are preventing people from fleeing the area by plane.
Last weekend, another plane carrying 45 kilograms of marijuana crashed in Chihuahua. One person died.