Many abducted from Mexican hotel
At least 30 men raid hotel in Monterry city, kidnapping seven people.
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2010 13:19 GMT
Drug violence in the north of the country has increased over previous weeks [EPA]

A group of armed men in Mexico have abducted as many as seven people from a hotel in the northern city of Monterrey.

The group struck early on Wednesday in the industrial city, kidnapping four guests, two receptionists and possibly a security guard, Alejandro Garza, the attorney general of the state of Nuevo Leon, said.

At least 30 men in 12 vehicles undertook the raid at the Holiday Inn. All of those abducted were said to be Mexicans.

Graza said that witnesses reported that a handcuffed person who had been hit in the face led the assailants to particular rooms from which the guests were forced to leave.

The group also visited the Hotel Mision in Monterrey, Mexico's third largest city, but did not take anyone captive.

Blocked roads

They used hijacked trucks to block roads around the hotels in the centre of the city.

It was not clear what motivated the attack.

Drug violence has escalated in Monterrey recently as cartels battle police and the army.

Stray bullets in a shootout on March 19 outside the gates of a university campus in Monterrey killed two students.

The northern border region has seen a rise in drug-related violence in the last few weeks.

At least 16 people have been killed in the two weeks leading up to Wednesday's raid in different attacks in the northern state of Chihuahua, officials said.

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