A group of 34 Cubans held on immigration charges in Mexico vanished after a bus taking them to a detention center was hijacked by heavily armed assailants, officials said Thursday.
Police found the empty bus, and no sign of the Cubans or the assailants, Thursday morning in the small town of Ocosingo, police in the state of Chiapas said.
The seven immigration guards and two bus drivers were left on the highway,.
The Cubans were arrested on Saturday in the resort town of Cancun on charges they entered the country illegally.
The bus was taking them to a detention center on the border with Guatemala to begin deportation procedures.
An immigration official in the state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez told AFP that a group of gunmen carrying automatic rifles stopped the bus late Wednesday.
"Several armed men wearing ski masks stopped the bus on the highway and threatened the immigration guards with automatic rifles," said one source. "They took the bus along with the Cubans."