A bus burns in Veracruz A bus burns in Veracruz after thieves ordered the passengers off and took their belongings.

Thieves attack, burn bus on transisthmus highway in Veracruz

The owner of the bus had previously received extortion calls

A gang of thieves intercepted, robbed and then burned a bus Monday night on federal highway 180 between Coatzacoalcos and Jáltipan in southern Veracruz.

About 10 armed civilians in pickup trucks forced a Sotavento line bus filled with passengers to stop. They took the passengers’ money and cell phones then forced them off the bus at the stop known as El Porvenir.

The thieves proceeded to douse the bus with gasoline and set it on fire. Neighbors alerted the authorities and helped the passengers. No injuries were reported.

The newspaper La Jornada reported that the owner of the bus had previously received extortion calls demanding payment.

The robbery comes less than a week after another incident involving the Sotavento bus line in the same area. On December 1, a 71-year-old Sotavento employee was driving in his own vehicle on the highway between Jáltipan and Oteapan when an armed gang forced him to stop and kidnapped him. He was freed after family and coworkers paid a ransom.

With reports from La Jornada

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