06/27/2005

Raid in northern Mexico rescues 43 people held by kidnappers

The Associated Press

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico- Federal agents and soldiers raided three safe houses in this sprawling Mexican border city, rescuing 43 people who had been kidnapped and making at least three arrests, the president's spokesman said Monday.

The victims were testifying before state and federal authorities in Nuevo Laredo, across the border from Laredo, Texas, Ruben Aguilar, a spokesman for President Vicente Fox, said in Mexico City.

Since January, many foreigners - most Americans - have been kidnapped in Mexican border cities. The federal Attorney General's office said preliminary reports indicated that all those rescued Sunday were Mexican citizens, however.

The Nuevo Laredo raids began Sunday afternoon and included three homes. It involved more than 600 members of the Federal Agency of Investigation - the Mexican equivalent of the FBI - as well as soldiers and state and local officials.

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