MEXICO CITY - At least 17 people were killed in a Northern Mexico prison on Tuesday, reports El Norte.

Eleven inmates and six guards died in a shootout as the prisoners attempted to escape the prison through tunnels, reports CNN.

"The inmates started to shoot with firearms toward the guard towers and the guard areas," the statement said.

The incident occurred at around 5 PM local time in Gomez Palacio, in the outskirts of the city of Torreon (Durango State).

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Map of Gomez Palacio, Mexico - Source: Googlemaps

This happened a day after the new Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced the creation of a national police force to help tackle crime and violence in crime-ridden Mexico. His plan is to recruit 10,000 officers to combat crimes linked to drug violence, extortion and kidnappings.

Assaults and mass prison breaks are frequent in the country. In the same jail last year, 11 inmates were killed in a fight.

In July 2010, Mexico's attorney general's office alleged that inmates from the prison were let out to kill rival drug gang members, according to CNN.

In September, more than 130 prisoners, many from the powerful Zetas cartel, escaped from a prison in the Northern State of Coahuila, close to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Only a handful of them have been re-arrested, reports BBC News.

Human right groups have denounced the awful living conditions of prisoners in Mexican facilities for several years. However, the government has yet failed to take any action.