washington [US]March 7 (ANI): Four U.S. citizens were beaten and kidnapped by gunmen in northeastern Mexico on Friday for misidentifying them, CNN reported, citing a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) is calling on people to help locate the American citizen and identify those responsible for this act.
The agency also announced a $50,000 reward for their return and arrest of those involved. The FBI in San Antonio said the missing Americans, who were unidentified, entered Matamoros on Friday in a white minivan with North Carolina license plates, CNN reported.
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The four U.S. citizens were shot by unidentified gunmen and “placed in a vehicle by armed officers and removed from the scene,” the FBI said. The FBI said it was investigating the kidnapping in cooperation with other federal partners and Mexican law enforcement agencies.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar said an innocent Mexican citizen was killed in the encounter.
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“We have nothing more important than the safety of our citizens,” Salazar said.
“This is the most fundamental role of the U.S. government. Officials from various U.S. law enforcement agencies are working with Mexican authorities at all levels of government to enable the safe return of our fellow citizens.”
The American had traveled to the border city of Matamoros for medical procedures, according to the official. According to the CNN report, the official said the Americans were believed to be the wrong targets rather than the intended victims. Investigators believe the Mexican cartel may have mistook them for Haitian drug traffickers, the official said.
Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador made a similar statement. He said people had crossed the border to buy medicines. However, according to news reports, clashes broke out between the groups and they were detained.
CNN quoted the Mexican president as saying: “The information we have is that they crossed the border to buy medicine in Mexico, there was a clash between groups and they were detained.”
“The whole government is working on it,” he added.
At the same time, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press conference on March 6 local time that they were closely following the kidnapping of four American citizens in Matamoros on March 3. He said the FBI is working closely with other federal agencies and Mexican law enforcement agencies to investigate the matter.
“We are closely following the abduction of four U.S. citizens in Matamoros on March 3 — the FBI is investigating this matter in close cooperation with other federal partners and Mexican law enforcement agencies,” Price said.
“I’m sure you saw the FBI offering incentives for their safe return. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. We also remind Americans of the existing travel guidance for this particular region of Mexico. Travel in Tamaulipas The warning remains at level 4: Do not travel. We encourage Americans to heed that advice,” he added. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)