The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward after four Americans were kidnapped by gunmen after they invaded the border town of Matamoros.
Four US citizens have been shot at and kidnapped by gunmen in northern Mexico, US authorities have said, enlisting the public’s help in identifying the attackers.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said in a rack that the four Americans crossed the border to Matamoros, in Mexico’s northeastern state of Tamaulipas, in a white minivan on Friday.
“Shortly after crossing into Mexico, unidentified gunmen fired on the passengers in the vehicle. All four Americans were placed in a vehicle and taken from the scene by armed men,” the statement said.
Matamoros, a town across from Brownsville, Texas, has been plagued by violence related to drug trafficking and other organized crime.
Highways in the Mexican state are considered some of the most dangerous in the country due to threats of kidnapping and extortion from criminal gangs.
On Friday, the gunfights in Matamoros were so bad that the US consulate issued a warning about the danger and local authorities warned people to take shelter in place.
The Tamaulipas State Police said people had been killed and injured, but did not say how many. State police said neither the police nor the military were involved in the shootings.
“There have been two armed incidents between unidentified civilians,” they said on social media on Friday. “The exact number of cases is confirmed.”
Meanwhile, the FBI said in its statement that US and Mexican law enforcement agencies were investigating the kidnappings of the four Americans.
The FBI also offered a $50,000 reward “for the return of the victims and the arrest of those involved.”