Tegucigalpa, June 26 (BNA): The government of Honduras announced on Sunday a curfew in two northern cities after more than 20 people were killed overnight in separate attacks amid escalating violence in the country.
Heavily armed gunmen opened fire on Saturday night in a pool hall in a neighborhood of the northern industrial city of Choloma, police journalist Edgardo Barahona told Reuters, killing 13 people and seriously wounding another.
He added that at least 11 more murders occurred Saturday in separate incidents across the northern Valle de Sola region, including in the industrial city of San Pedro Soleil.
President Xiomara Castro declared a 15-day curfew in Choloma between 9pm and 4am, effective immediately, and another in San Pedro Sula, from 4 July.
“Multiple operations, raids, arrests and checkpoints have begun,” Castro said on Twitter.
There has been a partial state of emergency in parts of Honduras since December in an effort to counter violent gangs and turf wars.
Security Minister Gustavo Sanchez announced later Sunday that the government would send a motion to Congress to “classify members of a criminal structure, gangs or gangs as terrorists” in the coming days.
Speaking at a press conference, the minister added that an additional 1,000 police and military would be sent to the Sula Valley, where Choloma and San Pedro Sul are located.
The president said the government is also offering a cash reward of 800,000 lempiras ($32,707) to help identify and capture those responsible for the Choloma killings.
The weekend attacks follow a fatal incident earlier this week in a women’s prison near the capital Tegucigalpa that left 46 people dead amidst a reported gang break-in.
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