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MEXICO UNDER SIEGE

Gunmen kidnap 22 in Acapulco

The Mexican tourists from a neighboring state were reportedly seized as they looked for lodging.

October 03, 2010|By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Mexico City — Gunmen kidnapped a group of 22 Mexican men in the tourist resort of Acapulco, Mexican media reported Saturday.

News reports said the group, from the neighboring state of Michoacan, was seized by gunmen shortly after arriving in the resort city Thursday.

The accounts cited information from the prosecutor's office in the coastal state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located. Repeated attempts to reach state officials were unsuccessful.

The motive was unknown.

A man traveling with the group reported the kidnapping. He told authorities the men were tourists from the western city of Morelia and were looking for a hotel when they were seized.

More than 300 people have been killed in and around Acapulco during the last four years because of fighting between rival drug-trafficking groups.

Amid Mexico's escalating drug war, mass kidnappings are not uncommon as gangs battle one another over turf and control of smuggling routes to the United States. The victims often turn up dead.

It is unusual, though, for gunmen to seize as many as 22 people at once, and there was no immediate sign that this kidnapping was related to drug trafficking.

In other developments, Mexican media reported that 14 people were killed in a shootout Friday between rival gangs in the northern state of Durango.

ken.ellingwood@latimes.com

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