A football match being watched by thousands of people was stopped in Mexico after a gunfight started outside the stadium.

Teams Santos and Monarcas Morelia were in the 40th minute when gunshots were heard from outside the stadium in the northern city of Torreon.

Players ran to their dressing room and fans dived for cover before match officials suspended the game.

Jesus Torres, the attorney general of the state of Coahuila, said the shooting was sparked when three armed vehicles didn’t stop at a military checkpoint, prompting a shoot out between the gunmen and police.

A police officer was hurt in the shooting, but none of the 20,000-strong crowd, any staff or footballers inside the stadium was injured.

The Mexican Defense Ministry issued a statement later saying the army arrived at the scene later but weren’t involved in the incident.

No one has been arrested for the shooting yet, said the authorities.

Santos chairman Alejandro Irarragorri, accompanied by his goalkeeper, went on to the pitch to make an announcement.

He told the crowd: “In the Santos club, we feel bad for the time in which we are living. It is evident that the game will be suspended.

“You can be assured that we will try to control these situations. We are sorry for Morelia, the referees and those who are visiting us from elsewhere.”

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