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Gunmen kidnapped reporter in southern Mexico, prosecutors say

MEXICO CITY -- A reporter was dragged from her home by armed assailants before dawn Monday in southern Mexico and had not been seen since, authorities said.

Crime-beat reporter Anabel Flores Salazar was kidnapped in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz at about 2 a.m. Monday.

The Veracruz state prosecutor's office said police were looking for her. The kidnapping took place near the city of Orizaba, where she worked for a local newspaper.

In August, five gunmen burst into a bar in Orizaba and killed a reporter who was sitting at a table with a reputed drug gang boss.

Ruben Espinosa sustained severe injuries to his face before he was killed, said Dario Ramirez, director of the Article 19 group.

Espinosa was found dead in an apartment in Mexico City. Three women who lived in the apartment and their housekeeper also were killed. They, too, appeared to have been tortured and sexually assaulted before being shot, Ramirez said in August.

Espinosa worked for the investigative magazine, Proceso, and other media. He had fled to the capital in June after being harassed in his home state of Veracruz.

At least 15 journalists have been killed in Veracruz since Gov. Javier Duarte took office in 2010 and three more have disappeared. His administration has been criticized for suggesting many of those reporters had links to drug gangs or were victims of common crime.

In Flores Salazar's case, prosecutors said they were investigating "all the reporter's possible ties."

The office said she had been in the company of Victor Osorio Santacruz when he was arrested in 2014. Osorio Santacruz was previously identified by the Mexican army as a leader of the local branch of the Zetas drug cartel.

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