An armed group kidnapped a man "of Italian origin" on the weekend in the central Mexican town of Amecameca, a spokesman for the Mexico state government told Efe Monday.

The victim is a 54-year-old businessman identified as Gilberto Soliman Corollo, a spokesman for the state Public Safety Department said.

The incident occurred last Saturday night when nine men armed with long guns entered the Los Venados restaurant at the Hacienda Panoaya and seized Corollo.

Apparently, the businessman was in the area promoting the 9th bicycle race on Popobike mountain, held last weekend near the Paso de Cortes on the slopes of the Popocatepetl volcano.

The investigation of the case has been handed to the Mexico state Attorney General's Office, which was not able to provide any further details. Sources with the Italian Embassy in Mexico also were unavailable for comment. EFE