Mexican football star Alan Pulido was forcibly abducted by armed men as he was leaving a party together with his girlfriend Sunday morning near Ciudad Victoria, the capital of the northern border state of Tamaulipas, according to local media accounts.
Alan Pulido, 25, was part of Mexico’s 2014 World Cup team and professionally plays forward for Olympiakos of Greece.
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Who is behind the abduction of the football star is still uncertain as of this time though this area of Mexico is known to suffer from conflicts among major drug gangs.
A statement from Pulido’s brother Armando merely confirmed that the soccer star has been missing since early morning, and they too are waiting to see what happens.
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No other details were released by authorities as to who is behind the abduction or the motive of the kidnappers.
Massive Manhunt Launched
Meanwhile, a massive manhunt operation was launched by Mexico’s federal and state forces Sunday to find Pulido, USA Today reports
“We have information that he was intercepted by armed persons, and since then, his whereabouts are unknown,” said state Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla.
In a statement released on Twitter, Tamaulipas Coordination Group that includes federal and state security agents said it was searching for the player.
Reporters in the city saw an unusual deployment of troops and police in the streets, while at least two police or military-style helicopters flew overhead.
The Greek team Olympiakos, where the abducted Mexico football star plays, issued a statement on Twitter in connection to the incident.
“At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Alan,” Olympiakos said on its Twitter page. Similar comments were published on social media websites by Pulido’s teammates from the national squad, BBC reports.
The abduction of Alan Pulido highlighted the public security problems in Mexico and Tamaulipas state, which is plagued by violence and crimes such as kidnapping and extortion.