Armed men killed three Mexican soldiers when they attacked an army helicopter on Friday in Jalisco state as violence left seven people dead in the region.
Government officials say they believe local Jalisco New Generation cartel is behind the attack that forced the helicopter to make emergency landing.
"This is a reaction to an operation we are doing to get to the bottom of, and detain leaders of this cartel," Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval said.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had pledged to fight drug cartels while taking office and government recently started “Operation Jalisco” to increase security in the state that plays a major role for country’s economic growth.
A state policeman and two suspected members of the cartel also died in a gunfight in Autlan province, in western Jalisco.
A truck driver blocking roads with the gangsters to block roads was also killed, Jalisco state government spokesman Gonzalo Sanchez said.
At least 15 people were injured during clashes In Jalisco's capital, Guadalajara, the second-largest city in Mexico, where roads were blocked, vehicles, buildings, banks and gas stations were set on fire.
Road blockades are a common response by the cartels to the arrests of their important members.
According to Defence Ministry, three security personnel from the attacked helicopter were still missing.
Organised crime attacks on security officials in Jalisco killed at least 20 security officials in the last two months
In the last eight years, gang related violence caused more than 100,000 deaths despite a slowdown in recent years since president Pena Nieto took office at the end of 2012.