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HUIXTLA, Mexico — About 20 members of an extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect overpowered guards and escaped a government shelter in southern Mexico where they had been held since one of their leaders was arrested last Friday on organized crime and human trafficking allegations.

Mostly made up of children wearing long, flowing robes, members of the Lev Tahor sect pushed their way out of the complex Wednesday night, climbing over one guard from a private security company who had fallen to the ground. The federal government’s shelter for children and families in Huixtla usually receives migrants detained by immigration officials.

They climbed aboard a waiting truck outside and headed toward Mexico’s border with Guatemala. Local police, the National Guard, and Mexico’s immigration agency said they did not pursue them.

Danny Limor, a former Mossad agent who participated in the operation that led to the raid on the Lev Tahor cult in Mexico, shared in an interview with 103FM what he witnessed.

"There were 26 of the cult members who were arrested, including two leaders, that remain in custody until they can be brought before a judge and charged with the crimes they've committed."

"Other than them, the cult is made up of many women and children, girls and boys aged two to 18 who were born and raised in the cult. Among the women, there are those who are full-heartedly members of the cult. You can say that they've been brainwashed, but you can also say that this is what they chose."

He added that the "crew is made of volunteers - former Mossad agents, a police officer and two lawyers. They all did an amazing job. The lawyers collected information, all the statements, so that the case they prepared could act as a foundation that would allow us to act within Mexican law, which is very sensitive regarding child abuse and human trafficking. The case was so well constructed that the Mexican Police had no choice other than to act."

Mexican police raided the jungle compound of Jewish extremist sect Lev Tahor (“Pure Heart”) and removed minors from the site, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

Two adult members of the group, described by former members as a cult, are under arrest on suspicion of human trafficking and severe sexual offenses, including rape.

Some 80 Mexican law enforcement officials took part in the raid. Twenty-six persons were detained at the compound in Tapachula, in the far southeast state of Chiapas, including citizens of Israel, the United States, Canada and Guatemala. Some will be deported.

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