An armed gang slaughtered seven people -- including three police officers -- at a family Christmas celebration in Mexicos violent southern state of Guerrero, police told AFP.

The massacre occurred early Christmas Day outside a house in the village of Puente del Rey, where the gunmen shot dead the six men and one woman, aged 24 to 54.

Three of the victims were police officers, a regional security ministry official said.

Guerrero is one of Mexico's states most affected by brutal drug gangs which frequently battle each other, as well as carrying out kidnappings and extortion.

It recently earned international infamy as a region where 43 students in 2014 went missing, and were presumably murdered, at the hands of corrupt police working for criminals.