The government of Coahuila state said 10 gunmen and four police were killed in shootouts on Saturday in Villa Union, days after U.S. President Donald Trump fanned bilateral tensions by saying he would designate cartels as terrorists.
Several other people were reported missing, including staff from the mayor's office.
The governor said the armed group - at least some in military style garb - stormed the town of 3,000 residents in a convoy of trucks, attacking local government offices and prompting state and federal forces to intervene.
Four of those killed were police, seven were suspected criminals and another three unidentified bodies were found nearby on a rural road, Coahuila governor Miguel Angel Riquelme told reporters.
Rapid gunfire could be heard on graphic video footage of the clash which was posted on social media.
Reuters could not vouch for the authenticity of the images.
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The attack comes after Mexico's leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned he would not allow the U.S. to conduct cross-border armed operations against drug cartels in the country, after President Donald Trump said he planned to designate Mexican drug hangs as terrorist organizations. The governor said he believed the gunmen were members of the Cartel of the Northeast, which is from Tamaulipas state to the east.
"I don't think that Mexico needs intervention". While pledging to act decisively against the gangs, he said that Mexico needed "collaboration and cooperation", not intervention from overseas.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr is due to visit Mexico next week to discuss cooperation over security.
He said the United States has offered Mexico "to let us go in and clean it out and (the President of Mexico) so far has rejected the offer".
Mr Lopez Obrador took office a year ago pledging to pacify the country after more than a decade of gang-fuelled violence. -Mexican origin, and the armed forces' release of a captured son of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman under pressure from cartel gunmen in the city of Culiacan.
But Coahuila state itself had been relatively free of the worst of the violence in the most recent years. National homicide levels are pushing record levels.