Two people have been killed and 19 injured in
protests in the Honduran capital, where demonstrators are demanding
the resignation of President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
The victims, 17 of whom had bullet wounds, arrived at the Escuela Universitario hospital overnight, the hospital said on Thursday. One of them, a 29-year-old man, died after having been shot in the head.
A 38-year-old man died from injuries caused by stabbing. Protesters meanwhile erected burning barricades on exit roads in the south of Tegucigalpa, daily El Heraldo reported. Some universities announced that they were suspending classes, while Hernandez called a meeting of the Defence and Security Council - the top organ handling security and defence policy - to deal with the crisis.
"[The] state of Honduras has the obligation to guarantee to the people the protection of their integrity and the enjoyment of their rights, such as free movement, protection of public property and more," the president tweeted. Honduras is one of the poorest and most violent countries in Central America.
Thousands of people have left in recent months in an attempt to migrate to the United States. Meanwhile, anti-government protests have been raging. The government cancelled reforms that protesters said would have led to the privatization of the health and education sectors, but demonstrators are continuing to demand Hernandez's resignation. Part of the police force, who are demanding better health and life insurance benefits, joined the protests by going on strike this week.
Truck drivers also went on strike, but the government said Thursday it had reached an agreement with them. Police on Wednesday reported "a series of acts of vandalism in several parts of the national territory, causing economic losses and damage to businesses." Local media reported looting, road blockages and fuel shortages in several regions. Hernandez won a second term in 2017 in elections marred by allegations of fraud.
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