A group of armed Mexican soldiers detained and disarmed a pair of U.S. soldiers on the U.S. side of the Texas border with Mexico. The U.S. soldiers were eventually released and their weapons returned.
A group of five to six Mexican soldiers approached two U.S. soldiers along the border near Clint, Texas, on April 13. “The U.S. soldiers were appropriately in U.S. territory,” officials with U.S. Northern Command told CNN. The U.S. soldiers were reportedly carrying out border support operations “in an unmarked (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) vehicle,” the news outlet reported.
Officials said the Mexican soldiers pointed their weapons at the U.S. troops and removed a sidearm from one of the soldier’s belt. The Mexican soldier reportedly placed the handgun in the CBP vehicle.
An official from Northern Command stated the Mexican soldiers were armed with “what appeared to be assault rifles,” CNN reported. They said the U.S. soldiers allowed the weapon to be taken in an “attempt to de-escalate a potentially volatile situation.”
CNN reported that one of the U.S. soldiers explained, in Spanish, to the Mexican soldiers that while they were south of the border fence, they were still on U.S. soil. The Mexican soldiers eventually released the U.S. soldiers and both sides promised to de-conflict in the future, officials stated.
Border barriers are frequently not built on the borderline but some distance into U.S. soil. Officials said that in this particular area the brush-filled dried out riverbed makes it “very easy” for people to be confused about exactly where the official international boundary is.
CBP officials confirmed that the Mexican soldiers believed the U.S. soldiers were on the south side of the border while Northen Command officials maintained that the U.S. troops were on American soil.
“Though they were south of the border fence, US soldiers remained in US territory, north of the actual border,” the statement concluded. “After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area.”