Hotel guests reportedly armed themselves "with metal sticks" as rival drug gangs stormed a resort in Mexico and opened fire yesterday.

Two of the men involved in the shooting died but no tourists were seriously injured or kidnapped, according to local authorities.

The incident started at 3pm yesterday on the beach area of the five-star Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun hotel in Puerto Morelos.

Hotel guests and staff were forced into a frenzied bid to hide after initial reports of an "active shooter" and shots being fired on the premises.

The security secretariat for the surrounding Quintana Roo state have since confirmed shocking incident on Twitter.

They said: "The @FGEQuintanaRoo reports that there was a confrontation between members of antagonistic groups of drug dealers on a beach in Bahía Petempich, Puerto Morelos.

"Two of them lost their lives at the scene. There are no serious injuries."

Speaking to CNN, one hotel guest revealed how terrified holidaymakers and hotel staff attempted to protect themselves amid the chaos.

The anonymous guest said: "I was by the pool when multiple successive gunshots occurred. It went on for a little while and everyone dove for cover.

"We manned the entrances to the basement and were given metal sticks, even a pedestal bathroom sink, to defend ourselves."

Another guest, Mike Sington, said that people were told to hide in their rooms and barricade the doors.

Speaking to Reuters during the incident he said: "In hiding in the dark now. Was told active shooter on property. Paramedics are here."

He later tweeted a a picture of his rudimentary barricade, with two hotel chairs stacked up against his door, and then another snap showing relieved guests hugging each other in the lobby after the incident was over.

The US Embassy has now issued a statement, confirming "a shooting incident in the beach area near the Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun and the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos".

They also advised guests to "monitor the local news for updates", "avoid crowds" and "review your personal security plans".

Local news outlet MegaNews confirmed on Twitter that police were carrying out a "strong operation" some hours after the initial shooting, sharing a video of a police helicopter circling the hotel and armed personnel entering in trucks.

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