Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Thursday, 22 April 2010 14:01 UK

Mexico gunmen kidnap at least six in hotel raids


The attackers appeared to be searching for specific guests when they entered the Holiday Inn hotel

Armed men have stormed two hotels in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, abducting four guests and as many as three hotel employees, officials say.

Nuevo Leon's state attorney general said up to 30 gunmen had raided the Holiday Inn and Hotel Mision.

The gunmen abducted three businessmen, a female guest and two receptionists. A hotel security guard is also missing.

The raid follows a surge of violence that has plagued Monterrey, Mexico's industrial capital, in recent weeks.

Alejandro Garza y Garza, the state attorney general, said organised crime was probably behind the attacks.

"A lot of what we're going through right now is part of a readjustment among cartels," Mr Garza y Garza told a news conference.

'Targeted attack'

The attackers appeared to be searching for specific guests when they entered the Holiday Inn hotel in the early hours, the attorney general said.


A handcuffed man led the attackers to room 517 on the fifth floor of the 17-floor hotel, where an Asian guest was staying. Realising he was not the man they were looking for, the gunmen continued with their hunt, Mr Garza y Garza said.

Those abducted include three businessmen from Mexico City and a woman from Reynosa, a Mexican city on the US-Mexico border.

Mr Garza y Gaza said a private security guard outside the Holiday Inn had clashed with the gunmen.

The guard had been reported missing and it was not known if he had been taken by the men, he said.

The attackers also stole a computer that contained security videos and the Holiday Inn's guest registry, Mr Garza y Garza said.

According to local media reports, the attackers blocked two main avenues leading to the hotel with several hijacked trucks to prevent police from reaching the area.

Some analysts suggest initial evidence from the abduction points to the Zetas, a paramilitary group linked to drug trafficking in Monterrey, but the group's exact affiliation remains unknown.

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