Marines captured the cartel's finance chief, Gabriela Robles, at left, and the regional boss, Ricardo Pequeno, right [EPA]

The Mexican military has killed 11 suspected Gulf Cartel members and captured 36 more in a major crackdown that began last week, officials say.

Among those arrested was Gabriela Gomez Robles, known as "La Gaby," who is believed to be the finance chief of the drug-trafficking group, Admiral Jose Luis Vergara, the military spokesman, said on Monday.

Also detained was Ricardo Salazar Pequeno, an alleged Gulf Cartel boss, Vergara said.

The Associated Press news agency reported that the alleged head of the cartel had been captured after a gunfight in which 10 cartel members died, though it did not name the person.

The operation was launched October 5 in Tamaulipas, one of the most violent areas in Mexico. Officials also seized more than four tonnes of marijuana, numerous weapons and one anti-aircraft missile.

Tamaulipas is the scene of a bloody turf battle between the formerly dominant Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, led by former elite military officials, with whom the Gulf Cartel used to be allied.

Mexican authorities used Black Hawk helicopters loaned by the United States under the Merida Initiative, during the operation.

Almost 45,000 people have been killed across Mexico since the federal government in 2006 launched a crackdown against drug cartels, according to official data and media tallies.

Source: Agencies