Three killed in Honduras protests as army deploys

Tegucigalpa (AFP) –


Troops patrolled the streets of the Honduran capital Friday after three people were killed in violent protests against President Juan Orlando Hernandez, authorities and relatives said Friday.

The government deployed troops after thousands of Hondurans blocked streets across the Central American country demanding Hernandez's resignation amid tensions over strikes by police and truckers.

Police said looters had raided and torched businesses in the capital, Tegucigalpa, while others blocked streets with rocks and bonfires.

Two people were killed in street clashes in the capital, public ministry spokeswoman Isis Alvarado said, adding that their bodies had been brought to a hospital along with several wounded people early Thursday.

A 17-year old youth, Noel Corea, was reported killed in clashes by his family later Friday.

Danilo Corea told AFP his son was killed by the military late Thursday after taking part in a protest blocking a road in a village 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the capital.

Angry locals later set fire to the police station in the village, Yarumela, in the department of La Paz.

Ongoing protests against Hernandez intensified this week after beginning more than a month ago when doctors and teachers unions held strikes against health and education laws.

Striking officers -- mostly riot police -- claim "harassment in the workplace and abuse of authority by many chiefs," according to a statement. It added that they are denied labor rights and salary increases.

The blockage caused a shortage of fuel in some areas of the country, which in turn led to long lines of vehicles at gas stations.