Police wound German student in southern Mexico

A police pickup is parked by the empty barracks of the Iguala municipal police, whose members were flagged as having collaborated with organized crime, October 6, 2014, in Guerrero state, Mexico (AFP Photo/Pedro Pardo)

Chilpancingo (Mexico) (AFP) - Police searching for a gang in southern Mexico have shot at a van carrying two German university students, wounding one of them, officials said Monday.

The 25-year-old student was in stable condition and recovering in a Mexico City hospital following late Sunday's shooting in Chilpancingo, capital of the crime-plagued state of Guerrero, according to his school, the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

The two Germans were in a van with four other young people when their vehicle's driver ignored a checkpoint set up by a state police anti-kidnap unit following clashes with a gang, officials said.

"(The van) didn't stop, and some agents used their firearms, because a noise similar to a gunshot was immediately heard," the Guerrero state government said in a statement.

Guerrero state prosecutor Victor Leon said between 15 and 20 officers were being questioned over the shooting.

The tires and lower part of the van were hit by three or four bullets, indicating that the officers had tried to stop it, Leon said.

The students were returning from a weekend in the Guerrero Pacific resort of Acapulco when the shooting took place, said Pedro Grasa, an official from the Monterrey Institute of Technology.

"The young man is stable. He apparently has no serious injury," Grasa told Milenio television.

The shooting came as Guerrero is embroiled in a scandal involving local police affiliated with a criminal gang.

At least 26 municipal officers linked to the Guerreros Unidos gang were arrested after shooting at buses packed with apprentice teachers in the town of Iguala on September 26, killing six people and leaving 43 students missing.

Hundreds of teachers armed with sticks and rocks were repelled by riot police during a protest outside the state legislature to demand the safe return of the students.