NUEVO LAREDO, MEXICO (AFP) – The Mexican attorney general’s office has opened an investigation into the deaths of five men, including a United States (US) citizen, who were allegedly killed by soldiers near the US border, authorities said on Tuesday.
The defence ministry said in a statement it was working with investigators to clarify the events that occurred early on Sunday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.
According to a complaint from the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH), the young men were travelling in a van when they were shot by soldiers.
The defence ministry said the soldiers were carrying out a routine patrol when they heard gunshots. The van accelerated as the soldiers approached, the army statement added.
The van collided with a parked vehicle, and upon hearing the noise, the military personnel “activated their weapons”, it said.
Five occupants died, another was wounded and a seventh was unscathed, according to figures from the ministry. According to the CNDH complaint, the vehicle received 20 bullet holes and one of the deceased was a US national.
Videos posted on social media showed an exchange of fire purportedly between soldiers, relatives of the young people and local residents.
The footage also showed what appeared to be a soldier being trampled on the ground by several people and another being punched in the face.