Six abducted as gunmen raid Mexican hotels in 'drugs feud'

DOZENS of gunmen burst into two hotels in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey early yesterday, going from room to room and abducting at least six people.

Officials said 20 to 30 gunmen seized four guests and a receptionist from the 17-storey Holiday Inn in Mexico's industrial hub, which has seen a surge in violence. The group searched rooms on the fifth floor, apparently looking for specific targets, before going across the street to the Hotel Mision, where they abducted a receptionist.

Those kidnapped included three male guests registered at the Holiday Inn as businessmen from Mexico City.

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State attorney general Alejandro Garza y Garza said a private security guard who was outside the Holiday Inn had been reported missing, but it was unclear if he had been abducted by the gunmen.

Organised crime was probably behind the attacks, Mr Garza y Garza said, adding: "A lot of what we're going through right now is part of a readjustment among cartels."

Last night, it remained unclear what motivated the gang, or who the victims were.

Local media said the gunmen had hijacked several lorries and used them to barricade two main streets about 15 blocks from the hotels, presumably to prevent the authorities from reaching the area.

Violence has grown in Monterrey after a split between the Gulf drugs cartel and its former ally, the Zetas gang.