Jun 29

Demonstrations in capital after 56-year-old ruler removed from power in military coup


Protesters take to the streets of Tegucigalpa after troops ousted President Manuel Zelaya

Protesters in Honduras yesterday put up roadblocks in the capital, Tegucigalpa, as they demanded the return of the president, Manuel Zelaya, hours after he was ousted in a military coup.

Hundreds of people, some wearing masks and armed with sticks, put up barricades near the presidential palace as governments across the region condemned the first military overthrow in central America since the end of the cold war.

What has so far been a bloodless coup could yet turn lethal.

Shots were fired near the presidential palace last night,but it was unclear who was shooting or whether there were any casualties.

Soldiers seized Zelaya, who was in his pyjamas, early yesterday and took him to neighbouring Costa Rica by plane.

The 56-year-old president, looking dishevelled but calm, said he had been expelled by “rightwing oligarchs” and promised to return to Honduras.

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