Gunmen kidnapped five patients and two employees of a drug rehabilitation center in Cuauhtemoc, a city in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, prosecutors said.
The masked gunmen entered the facility Tuesday and grabbed four people, including two employees, who were inside.
Three patients who had managed to get out of the building were stopped by the gunmen on a nearby street a few minutes later and forced into an automobile at gunpoint.
The kidnapping was staged at the CAADIC drug rehabilitation center in the Tierra Nueva section of Cuauhtemoc, Attorney General’s Office Northern Zone spokeswoman Alexa Lara said.
Gunmen working for drug cartels have staged a number of attacks in recent years on drug treatment centers in Mexico, especially in the northern region of the country.
The attacks on rehab centers apparently target individuals who are using the facilities to sell drugs on rivals’ turf, officials say.
Earlier this week, marines rescued 66 people being held against their will at an unlicensed drug rehabilitation center in the Gulf state of Veracruz and arrested eight people, the Navy Secretariat said.
The marines went to the Solo por Hoy Vivire facility in the city of Boca del Rio after receiving a tip from a citizen and found 20 women packed into a tiny room, the secretariat said.
A search of the building turned up 46 men who were locked in a cell, the secretariat said.
The operation also resulted in the seizure of 190 doses of cocaine and marijuana.
On June 7, gunmen attacked the La Victoria drug rehabilitation center in Torreon, a city in the northern state of Coahuila, killing 13 people.
Gunmen attacked the Anexo de Liberacion y Adicciones treatment center on Dec. 5 in Ciudad Juarez, a border city in Chihuahua state that is considered Mexico’s murder capital, killing three people and wounding seven others.
At least 10 armed men went into the clinic and opened fire, officials said.
Gunmen killed 18 people at a drug treatment center located two blocks from a police station and the Santa Fe international bridge in Ciudad Juarez, which lies just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, on Sept. 3, 2009.
Nineteen people were killed and six others wounded in an attack on a drug rehabilitation center in Chihuahua city, the state capital, on June 11, 2010.
Gunmen killed 13 people on Oct. 24 at a drug rehabilitation center in the northwestern border city of Tijuana.
The attack occurred at the El Camino treatment center in east Tijuana, which is in Baja California state.