A crime reporter in the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora was abducted in Ciudad Obregon, his newspaper said Friday.

Marcos Avila Garcia, 39, was at a carwash a little after 4:00 p.m. Thursday when he was grabbed by at least three masked assailants toting assault rifles, El Regional de Sonora said.

Attacks on the press have intensified in Mexico in recent weeks with the killings of three photographers and an investigative reporter in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and a shooting attack on the offices of El Mañana daily in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.

Rene Orta Salgado, a former journalist, was found dead Sunday in the trunk of his car in Cuernavaca, a resort town near the Mexican capital.

Mexico, where nearly 80 journalists have been murdered and several others have disappeared since 2000, is considered the world's second most dangerous country for members of the media.