Mexican troops confronted two American soldiers in a remote part of Texas who they thought had crossed into Mexican territory, reportedly disarming one of them, U.S. officials said.
The incident occurred April 13 in a remote area near Clint, Texas, where the U.S. Army soldiers were in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle, according to U.S. Northern Command, which manages military support for the agency. It was first reported by Newsweek.
The American soldiers, who the news magazine said were in an unmarked Chevy Tahoe, were on a section of U.S. territory north of the actual border but apparently south of the border fence when they were stopped and ordered out of their vehicle by five or six Mexican troops carrying what appeared to be assault rifles. One of the Mexican soldiers took a service pistol from the hip of one of the Americans and tossed it inside the SUV.
The Northern Command told the Associated Press in a statement Tuesday that an investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Defense determined that the Mexican troops believed they were on their own territory at the time.
“After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area,” the statement said. “The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols.”
The situation, Newsweek noted, illustrates the confusion that often exists over where the border of the two countries is since the fence does not always coincide with the topography of the actual demarcation.
U.S. troops are at the border as part of the Trump administration's efforts to curb illegal crossings.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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