Gunmen have kidnapped six police officers in northern Mexico, sparking a massive manhunt involving troops, officials said on Thursday.
Some 30 armed men occupied the village of La Simona on Wednesday, installed checkpoints at the entrance of the community and forced the six municipal officers into vehicles, said Carlos Huerta, spokesperson of the Chihuahua state prosecutor’s office.
The assailants also took weapons and a police car.
Soldiers and local and state police have been “deployed in several communities near the location (of the kidnappings) to find the officers,” Huerta said.
La Simona, which has a population of 250 people, is part of the municipality of Madera in a mountainous region near the state of Sonora. Shootouts have erupted in the area in the past.
The state of Chihuahua, which borders the United States, has endured some of the worst violence in Mexico’s decade-long militarized battle against drug trafficking.