Mayor of northern Mexican town of Santiago is kidnapped

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Edelmiro Cavazos (file Photo)
Image caption,
Mr Cavazos had just returned from a public function when he was abducted

Police in Mexico say the mayor of Santiago, a city in the north of the country, has been abducted.

Edelmiro Cavazos was taken from his home by armed men on Sunday night and has not been heard from since.

Santiago has recently seen a rise in violence which police blame on a turf war between rival drug cartels.

Santiago and the nearby city of Monterrey, the richest in Mexico, are seen as prime targets for the gangs who kidnap wealthy citizens for ransom.

Police said Mr Cavazos had just returned from attending a public function on the town's main square when 15 gunmen broke into his home and forced him into a car.

State governor Rodrigo Medina said he believed Mr Cavazos may have been targeted because of his efforts to tackle corruption in the local police force.

The abduction follows a weekend of violence in Monterrey, some 30km (18 miles) from Santiago.

On Saturday, gangs blockaded 13 major streets in the city, Mexico's third largest.

And on Sunday, an explosive device went off in front of the studios of Mexico's largest television network, Televisa.

Nuevo Leon, the northern state where both Monterrey and Santiago are located, has seen a sharp increase in crime since one of the country's most violent drug gangs, Los Zetas, extended its operations there.