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  HOME | Central America

Honduras Lawmaker's Bodyguards Assassinated in Attack -- Telephone Company Bombed

TEGUCIGALPA -- Two bodyguards of a provincial legislator were killed in eastern Honduras by assailants armed with assault rifles and a grenade-launcher, the National Police said Thursday.

The incident took place Wednesday in Juticalpa, a city in the eastern province of Olancho, police spokesman Orlin Cerrato said.

He identified the victims as Felix Noel Hernandez and Jose Blas Romero, employees of businessman and Liberal Party politician Ulises Sarmiento, and said they were killed while riding in the back of the legislator's pickup truck.

Cerrato did not say whether Ulises Sarmiento, whose brother Eduardo is a congressman with the National Party, was in the vehicle.

The attackers shot the bodyguards and launched two grenades, only one of which detonated, causing minor damage to nearby homes, the spokesman said.

He also provided information on the bombing of the Tegucigalpa headquarters of Celtel, a mobile telephone company. Cerrato said the blast took around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday and that no one was injured.

The bomb was a homemade device comprising a tube, "commercial explosives" and a slow-burning fuse, and was apparently hurled at the building from a moving vehicle, the police spokesman said.

Tensions are running high in Honduras amid the standoff between ousted President Mel Zelaya and the government Congress installed after his June 28 departure. Hondurans are supposed to go to the polls Nov. 29 to choose a new head of state, but Zelaya supporters say a free and fair vote is impossible under the present circumstances.

 

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