(updates, rewrites throughout)


Two officials at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico were wounded Friday when federal police shot at their vehicle in the central state of Morelos, Mexican authorities said.

The wounds are not life-threatening, the federal Public Safety Office and the navy department said in a joint statement, adding that a Mexican naval officer traveling with the two Americans suffered "slight contusions" in the early morning incident.

The vehicle, a Toyota SUV, had diplomatic plates.

Police were engaged in anti-crime operations at the time of the shooting, the statement said.

The Americans and the Mexican officer were traveling on a stretch of unpaved road en route to a navy installation at El Capulin mountain when they encountered "a vehicle whose occupants brandished guns," the statement said.

The driver of the Toyota "maneuvered to get away and re-enter the highway, the moment in which the occupants of the aggressor vehicle opened fire on the diplomatic vehicle."

Soon, according to the statement, "three other vehicles joined the pursuit and fired gunshots at the U.S. Embassy vehicle."

The Mexican officer inside the Toyota made a call for help to his colleagues at the El Capulin base, who arrived after the shooting stopped.

Other military and police personnel also rushed to the scene.

The two U.S. officials were taken under police escort to a hospital in Cuernavaca, roughly 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Mexico City.

The cops who shot at the embassy vehicle are being questioned by prosecutors, the Mexican government said.

Mexican officials are in "permanent communication" with the U.S. Embassy to provide all needed assistance to the wounded men, the Public Safety Office and the navy department said. EFE