Pop superstar BRITNEY SPEARS suffered a terrifying experience in Mexico - when she was convinced she was the target of armed kidnappers.

The OVERPROTECTED singer, 21, visited the Central American nation earlier this year (03), when the van she was travelling in stopped in heavy traffic.

She tells American tabloid the STAR, "Suddenly these guys with guns in their hands surrounded us. I thought, 'They're trying to kidnap me.' I was terrified.

"I ducked my head down and yelled to my bodyguard and driver: 'My God, what's going on?' Then people on the street started shaking the van, pushing it from side to side. They even got out of their cars to join in.

"They must have known it was me, but I don't understand what they were doing.

"Finally, the traffic started moving, and we sped away. Apparently, what had happened was that the guys with guns were part of a security crew that we hadn't hired - and they got mad.

"But I didn't find out till later - and it didn't make it any less scary."

26/06/2003 09:16