el chapo guzman
Photograph of drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, distributed by Mexico's Attorney General's OfficeAttorney General's Office/Reuters

Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman – the world's most wanted drug lord – has suffered face and leg injuries in a failed bid to recapture him. Mexican authorities said that they have cornered the head of the Sinaloa drug cartel in a rugged mountain range in northwestern Mexico. An extensive military operation was underway in the region on Friday, with authorities believing they are closing in on the notorious criminal.

Mexican police tracked Guzman, 58, after US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) located the drug kingpin's phone, according to the BBC. They then tipped off Mexican authorities regarding his whereabouts. However after storming the hideout, all that was left were his clothes and a discarded mobile.

"Due to these actions and to avoid his arrest, the fugitive escaped in a hurry, which according to the information that was collected, caused him injuries to his leg and face," the government said in a statement. "It's important to clarify that these injuries were not a product of a direct clash," it added without providing any specifics.

El Chapo escaped from a high-security prison cell in July through a specially dug tunnel, causing a major embarrassment for Mexican authorities. The tunnel was equipped with lights, air vents, and even a motorbike, mounted on rails, to reduce the time needed to get away. The other end of the tunnel, which opened up in the middle of a building site, there were a pile of clothes left waiting for him, allowing him to blend in with the public after escaping.

US authorities believe that Guzman fled to the rugged mountain region of his home state stronghold of Sinaloa following his jailbreak, according to AFP. Guzman's Sinaloa drug cartel controls the states of Durango, Sinaloa and Chihuahua in a drug-producing region known as the Gold Triangle. Officials say Guzman fled to the region because of the support he has amongst the local population.