Mexico footballer fought kidnapper

Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido is driven away after his release from captivity. 30 May 2016Image copyright

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Alan Pulido, his hand bandaged, was taken to safety by police after his release

International footballer Alan Pulido, who has been rescued after being abducted in Mexico, fought one of his kidnappers and used his phone to call police, officials have revealed.

Pulido, who plays for the Greek club, Olympiakos, cut his wrist when he punched a glass pane on a door as he tried to escape before police arrived.

Pulido, 25, was abducted at gunpoint on Saturday night in his home town of Ciudad Victoria in Tamaulipas state.

A 38-year-old man has been arrested.

Officials say the man had confessed to belonging to a local criminal gang. Police are searching for another three men believed to have been involved in the kidnapping.

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State prosecutor Ismael Quintanilla said the masked gang had taken Pulido to a house in Ciudad Victoria where he eventually found himself alone with one of his abductors.

“They traded blows. He takes it [the phone] and calls [emergency number] 066. It all happened very quickly,” Mr Quintanilla told Imagen radio.

An official report of the calls Pulido made to the emergency operator, obtained by the Associated Press, revealed that he threatened and beat the kidnapper while on the phone, demanding to be told where they were.

In one of the calls, Pulido said police were outside and starting to shoot so he described what he was wearing to avoid being mistaken for a kidnapper.

Ransom demand

Pulido had been abducted when his car was surrounded by several vehicles as he was leaving a party with his girlfriend on Saturday night.

Masked men whisked him away, leaving his girlfriend unharmed.

Pulido’s family received a phone call on Sunday demanding a ransom payment, Mr Quintanilla told reporters. No ransom was paid.

Pulido, with one of his hands bandaged, told reporters early on Monday: “[I am] very well, thank God.”

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Pulido was part of the Mexican team at the 2014 World Cup

Tamaulipas is one of Mexico’s most violent states, and Mexico recently deployed more security forces to tackle cartels operating in the area.

The country has one of the world’s highest kidnapping rates, with government figures saying some 1,000 people are abducted every year.

Pulido joined Olympiakos last July and finished the season with six goals in 15 games.

He was part of Mexico’s squad at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but was not called up for the upcoming Copa America tournament.

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