SOLYMONE BLOG

HONDURAN PRESIDENT ARRESTED BY SOLDIERS

Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras, has been arrested by soldiers after he vowed to go ahead with a controversial referendum on constitutional changes, his allies and local media say.
  • Zelaya was reportedly arrested at his home on Sunday morning and taken to a military base on the outskirts of the capital, Tegucigalpa.
  • Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez, reporting from Tegucigalpa, said: "An eyewitness told us that between five and six in the morning local time about 100 to 200 soldiers surrounded his home in the centre of the capital and three vans drove up to his home and took him."
  • A neighbour said that the president came out and the army shot at him, about five shots.
  • The non-binding referendum, which was due to take place on Sunday, would have asked Hondurans whether they approved of holding a poll on constitutional change alongside general elections in November.
  • The president fired the armed forces chief of staff last week after he refused to help him organise the vote.
  • The streets of Tegucigalpa were almost empty of traffic on Sunday after reports on local radio urged the city's residents to stay inside.
  • "We're talking about a coup d'etat," Rafael Alegria, a union leader and ally of Zelaya, told Honduras' radio Cadena de Noticias. "This is regrettable."
  • The HRN radio station reported that Zelaya had been sent into exile, citing unidentified "trustworthy sources". Other reports suggested that he may have headed to Venezuela.
  • Courtesy: Al Jazeera
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