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Supporters of Zelaya, interim gov't clash in Honduras
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11:11, July 19, 2009

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Pelting stones and wielding sticks, supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya and those of the post-coup interim government clashed in a coastal city of Honduras on Saturday, leaving an unknown number of people injured.

According to local media reports, in Tocoa City on the Atlantic coast of the Central American country, Zelaya's sympathizers clashed with demonstrators in support of the interim government headed by former congressional leader Roberto Micheletti.

Witness said that during the conflict many people, including youngsters and children, were badly beaten, and the police had to intervene to bring the situation under control.

So far there has been no report of death, and the exact number of injuries remained unclear.

Iris Turcios, coordinator of the pro-interim-government demonstration, told radio channel HRN that the situation was sad, and that greater tragedy could have happened if the police hadn't taken action.

Also on Saturday, in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa, hundreds of Zelaya's supporters, also known as the "Zelayistas," blocked the traffic on a main pathway in the southern parts of the urban area.

The violent conflict occurred when delegations representing Zelaya and the interim government were meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica for the second round of talks aimed at seeking a solution to the country's political crisis.

Both parties were received by Costa Rican President Oscar Arias, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and designated mediator of the talks, who on Friday expressed optimism in finding a peaceful way to end the turbulent situation in Honduras.

Zelaya was ousted and forced into exile on June 28 in a military coup, which was widely condemned by the international community.

Source: Xinhua

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