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Texas National Guard member accused of shooting a man across the border in Mexico

CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO - AUGUST 26: Patrol police take security measures around the scene as border guard shoots a man passing through the area on the border between Mexico and United States on August 26, 2023 in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The man stated that when he was passing through the area, a group of migrants crossed, then he heard the shot that made him fall to the ground and a few minutes later he received help from the police in Mexico. (Photo by David Peinado/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

(CNN) — A Mexican citizen was shot and wounded in the leg “while in Mexican territory” Saturday by a Texas National Guard member who was in the El Paso area, a news release from Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said.

The National Guard member who discharged a weapon during a “border-related incident” was assigned to Gov. Greg Abbott’s border security initiative, known as Operation Lone Star, the Texas Military Department said.

The man who was shot was exercising at the time of the shooting, César Omar Muñoz Morales, the Ciudad Juarez municipal public safety secretary said. Ciudad Juarez is across the border from El Paso.

Mexican authorities said they have met with senior officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers about the incident and were informed that the guard member involved “has been separated from his position until the investigation has concluded.”

“During the meeting, the Mexican authorities reiterated that the Texas National Guard member’s action was inadmissible,” Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a news release. Mexican officials also expressed concerns about the human rights and safety of migrants, the news release said.

It’s the second incident involving a Texas National Guard member assigned to Operation Lone Star firing their weapon and injuring someone.

In January, a guard member shot a migrant during a struggle.

The guard member in that incident unholstered his pistol, then switched it from his right hand to his left before the firearm went off, striking the migrant in the shoulder, according to his sworn statement.

The shooting happened in the early morning of January 15 in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, an incident report states. It was the first known incident involving a service member shooting and injuring a migrant since Texas’ Operation Lone Star began in March 2021.

The Texas Rangers, a division of the Texas Department of Public Safety, is investigating Saturday’s shooting, said Ericka Miller, a spokesperson for the department.

Gov. Abbott’s press office had no comment and referred CNN back to the Texas Military Department. Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said it’s in communication with US federal authorities.