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Armed gang abducts seven people during hotel attacks

Two hotels in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey were stormed by armed gangs, a day after at least 16 people were killed in separate attacks in the northern state of Chihuahua.

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AFP - An armed gang stormed two hotels in Mexico's northern economic hub of Monterrey and abducted seven people, including an American woman, Mexican media reports said Wednesday.

Around 50 armed attackers were involved in the two raids, according to concordant media reports citing Nuevo Leon state police.

The attackers abducted one guest from the Hotel Mision and four guests, a security guard and a receptionist from the Holiday Inn, the reports said.

The attackers used vehicles to block several roads around the hotels in central Monterrey, Mexico's third-largest city, during the raid.

The Nuevo Leon attorney general's office declined to comment.

Drug-related violence has intensified in Mexico's northern border areas in recent weeks. Drug gang members have blocked roads and engaged in shootouts with police around Monterrey.

At least 16 people were killed in separate attacks since Tuesday in the northern state of Chihuahua, officials said, including 11 in the country's most deadly city of Ciudad Juarez.

Arizona's two US Republican senators proposed Monday sending 3,000 more US National Guard soldiers to quell violence spilling over the border between their home state and Mexico.

More than 22,700 people have died in suspected drug violence since Mexican President Felipe Calderon launched a military crackdown on organized crime after taking office in late 2006.
 

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