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Honduras back under curfew after violent clashes

September 18, 2009

Honduras´ deposed President Manuel Zelaya said Wednesday that at least 10 people died in Tuesday´s violent clashes between police and his supporters.

“I have information of at least 10 people dead in the country,” Zelaya said in a phone conference with reporters Wednesday from the Brazilian Embassy in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, according to the news agency EFE. He added that hundreds have been detained and dozens injured.

Honduran police on Wednesday confirmed one death from Tuesday night´s clashes, denying an earlier claim by Zelaya that same evening that put the number at six.

De facto President Roberto Micheletti reestablished an indefinite curfew Wednesday afternoon after having suspended it for seven hours to allow the population to shop for food and basic necessities. The Micheletti administration said the curfew will start at 5 p.m., but gave no end time.

The curfew is costing the Honduran economy about $50 million a day, Jesús Canahuati, vice president of Honduras´ chapter of the Business Council of Latin America, told the news agency Bloomberg.

During the hours without curfew on Wednesday, Zelaya supporters took the opportunity to take the streets once again to protest, prompting the police to resume efforts to disperse the mob with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organization, has charged that Honduran police used “excessive force” in confronting demonstrators.

According to newswire AFP, the United States on Wednesday welcomed an invitation by Honduras´ de facto leaders for senior international diplomats to visit Tegucigalpa to engage in dialogue.

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