Mexican federal authorities say they killed one gunman Sunday as they continued to fight off a series of attacks on federal forces in western Michoacan state.

Police say the attacks on their forces began Saturday, when gunmen killed three federal agents and two soldiers, and wounded 18 others. Police said the attacks were retribution for the arrest of drug cartel leader Arnoldo Rueda.

Rueda, an alleged key member of the La Familia Michoacan drug cartel, was captured Saturday morning in Morelia.  Shortly after his arrest, some two dozen armed men threw grenades into the federal offices where Rueda was being held and opened fire.

The attackers failed to secure Rueda's release, and the violence then spread across the Pacific coast state. 

President Felipe Calderon's home state of Michoacan has been at the center of his drug war.  He has deployed 36,000 troops to fight drug gangs that are engaged in a bloody war over control of the lucrative trafficking routes into the United States.  

More than 7,000 people have been killed since the beginning of last year.   

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.