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Tense calm returns to Honduras after coup
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10:49, June 30, 2009

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A 24-hour calm returned to Honduras'capital of Tegucigalpa on Monday after a military coup ousted President Manuel Zelaya.

Despite a two-night curfew declared by the newly-appointed Honduran acting President Roberto Micheletti, supporters of Zelaya remained to stay outside of the presidential palace.

Shootings were heard outside the presidential palace early Monday, but the gunshots had hit buildings far away from the palace and not caused any injuries, reports said.

Classes have been suspended at public universities in Tegucigalpa, while secondary school teachers abandoned classrooms to take part in rallies demanding Zelaya's reinstatement.

Micheletti named Adolfo Lionel Sevilla, a member of the right-wing Liberal Party, as new defense minister to replace former defense chief Edmundo Orellana.

Last week, Zelaya sacked the country's top military chief General Romeo Vasquez and also accepted the resignation of Orellana after military commanders refused to distribute ballot boxes for Sunday's vote.

Elected to a non-renewable four-year term in 2005, Zelaya had planned a vote on Sunday asking Hondurans to sanction a future referendum to allow him to run for re-election in the November polls.

He was ousted by a military coup on Sunday morning and was forced to board an aircraft that took him to Costa Rica a few hours before the planned start of the referendum to change the constitution.

Source: Xinhua

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