Four American citizens were kidnapped after a group of armed men opened fire on their vehicle in Matamoros, a city in northern Mexico, the FBI announced on Sunday.
The four individuals crossed the U.S.-Mexico border from Brownsville, Texas to Matamoros on Friday in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates. However, they were suddenly “fired upon” by “unidentified gunmen” shortly after crossing the border, the FBI said in a statement.
“All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” the office said.
The FBI is working with other federal authorities and Mexican law enforcement agencies to find the American citizens, according to Special Agent Oliver Rish of the San Antonio division of the FBI. Additionally, the agency is offering a $50,000 reward for the return of the victims and the arrest of the culprits.
Matamoros is a Mexican city known for having several fractions of the Gulf drug cartel, who are engaged in a turf war, and is part of a major drug-smuggling route.
On March 3, authorities launched a major security operation in Matamoros, which resulted in several “armed incidents between unidentified civilians.” The incident resulted in several deaths and injuries. However, police did not specify how many.
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