Teen among 3 dead in protests over Honduras election – World

Two people died as Honduran security forces clashed with demonstrators and fanned out to enforce a curfew, officials said on Saturday, after a contested presidential election triggered looting and protests.

At least three people have now died and hundreds have been arrested after the tally from last Sunday’s presidential race stalled without a clear winner and opposition leaders accused the government of trying to steal the election.

TV star Salvador Nasralla on Saturday accused his rival, President Juan Orlando Hernandez, of carrying out a coup by manipulating the vote count and declaring the curfew to stifle protests.

International concern has grown about the electoral crisis in the poor Central American country, which struggles with violent drug gangs and one of the world’s highest murder rates.

Early lead by challenger reversed

Nasralla’s early lead on Monday was later reversed in favour of Hernandez, leading to accusations of vote fraud and calls for protests. Disputed votes could swing the outcome.

Nasralla held fast to his party’s demands for a wider recount of disputed ballots, and on Saturday official results remained held up by Nasralla’s demands that a recount of nearly six per cent of the vote be extended to include thousands more polling stations.

His party has refused to participate in the limited recount, forcing a stand-off with the ruling party and election authorities. Many businesses around the capital were shuttered on Saturday as military forces manned outposts around key government buildings.

One of the dead is Kimberly Fonseca, a 19-year old woman who was shot in the head early Saturday in Tegucigalpa as soldiers busted up protesters’ blockades of rubble and burning tires that had snarled traffic in the capital and major ports, a spokesperson for the national police said.

More than 200 people have been arrested and more than 20 injuries have been reported in the skirmishes between protesters and security forces. Two other protesters were reported dead in La Ceiba, a port town in northern Honduras.

A man walks past broken windows of looted restaurant caused by the delayed vote count of the presidential election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. (Jorge Cabrera/Reuters)

Police said many who had been arrested had been freed, but did not specify the number. The government declared the curfew on Friday, expanding powers for the army and police to detain people. Under the decree, the national police and army are…

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