Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Anti-death penalty group kills 28 in Honduras bus attack

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) - Assailants claiming to be members of a revolutionary group opposed to the death penalty ambushed a bus filled with people bringing home Christmas gifts and killed at least 28 people, including six children, in an escalation of the battle between gangs and Honduras’ government.

The bus with more than 50 people aboard, most of them women and children, was driving through a heavily populated neighborhood in the northern city of Chamelecon yesterday evening when a car of gunmen cut in front of it and forced it to stop, police spokesman Deputy Commissioner Wilmer Torres said.

The assailants jumped out of the car and began shooting, while attackers in a second car fired from behind and then alongside the bus, he said.

Sixteen of the victims were killed aboard the bus while 12 others, including two children and 10 women, died after being taken to a public hospital in the nearby city of San Pedro Sula, Torres said. More than a dozen others were injured. Many of the passengers were coming home with bags filled with gifts and food for Christmas, Torres said.

The assailants left a large piece of paper taped to the windshield of the bus with a message saying they represented a revolutionary group that opposes the death penalty. The message contained "vulgar words" against President Ricardo Maduro, Congress President Porfirio Lobo Sosa and Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, Torres said.