Armed group in Mexico kidnaps 14 security ministry staff


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Security forces in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas were searching on Tuesday for 14 state security ministry employees kidnapped by members of an armed group earlier in the day, authorities said.

The kidnapped employees, all men, were taken by members of the armed group on a highway about 22 miles (34.4 km) west of the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez, the ministry said in a statement.

The employees are not police officers but work in administration, a ministry spokesperson told Reuters.

“Nothing like this has ever happened,” the spokesperson said, adding that the motive for the kidnapping was being investigated.

Both federal and state agents joined the search.

Video released by news outlets apparently of the kidnapping shows several vehicles stopped on the highway, doors open, as men in tactical gear pointed guns at people in the vehicles.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm the authenticity of the video. The state prosecutor’s office said it was investigating reported photos and video of the incident.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz and Kylie Madry; editing by Robert Birsel)

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