Those kidnapped were all men and worked in administration at a police station. This is a representational image. Paul Bradbury/Gettyimages

Security forces in the southern state of Chiapas, Mexico, are conducting a search for 14 administrative employees from the state security ministry who were abducted by an armed group.

The kidnapping occurred on Tuesday along the highway that links the state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, to the town of Ocozocoautla, approximately 34.4km (22 miles) west of the capital.

According to a statement by the state security agency, the individuals abducted were all male employees working in administration at a police station.

"Nothing like this has ever happened," a ministry spokesperson said.

A ministry spokesperson expressed astonishment, stating that such an incident had never occurred before. The motive behind the kidnapping is currently under investigation.

The search operation involves both federal and state law enforcement agents.

Several Mexican news outlets have released video footage purportedly showing the incident, depicting multiple vehicles stopped on the highway with open doors, while individuals wearing bulletproof vests point firearms at the passengers inside the vehicles.

The state prosecutor's office is currently examining the authenticity of the videos that emerged, showcasing the incident involving at least three trucks blocking a highway.

According to the newspaper Reforma, the armed men seized the employees' mobile phones and instructed them to lie on the ground.

It further reported that the women in the group were released unharmed, Al Jazeera reported.

Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital, is situated approximately 700km (435 miles) southwest of Mexico City.

During a recent visit to Chiapas, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador downplayed the level of violence in the region, stating that, in general, there is "peace, there is tranquility" in the state.

Just prior to the president's visit, a distressing incident unfolded in Tuxtla Gutiérrez, where an official from the Attorney General's Office was shot, resulting in serious injuries. Tragically, the accompanying person lost their lives in the attack.

A tragic incident occurred on Jun. 19 in Ocozocoautla, as a confrontation between the military and individuals presumed to be involved in organized crime resulted in the deaths of a member of the National Guard and a civilian.

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