Salvadoran girls found on Rio Grande at U.S.-Mexico border

MEXICO CITY, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Mexican immigration agents found three unaccompanied Salvadoran children stranded on an islet on the Rio Grande, which straddles the U.S.-Mexico border, Mexico's immigration institute said.

The three sisters are 9, 6 and 1 year old, the institute said in a statement on Wednesday.

Members of Mexico's National Guard first issued an alert for the children, according to the institute.

The eldest child was holding her infant sister in her arms when found by the agents, authorities said.

Salvadoran consulate officials in Mexico were aware of the incident and in talks with local authorities, El Salvador's foreign ministry said.

Rio Grande crossing dividing the United States and Mexico is one of the last hurdles migrants face before reaching the United States, often after arduous journeys.

The three children were placed in the care of Mexico's System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), the immigration institute said.

Reporting by Raul Cortes and Ana Isabel Martinez in Mexico City and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Writing by Valentine Hilaire; Editing by Kylie Madry and Sandra Maler

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.