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Honduran Security Breaks Up Pro-Zelaya Protests

By VOA News
22 September 2009

Honduran security forces have broken up demonstrations outside the Brazilian embassy where deposed President Manuel Zelaya has taken refuge.

Witnesses say police used tear gas to disperse thousands of Zelaya supporters Tuesday. The demonstrators spent the night outside the embassy, despite a nationwide curfew the interim government put in place after Mr. Zelaya's surprise return.

The curfew was initially scheduled to expire early Tuesday morning, but will now last until Tuesday evening.

Mr. Zelaya stunned the caretaker government when he appeared on the balcony of the Brazilian embassy in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, Monday.

In a television interview, Mr. Zelaya described how he traveled through the countryside for hours, avoiding military checkpoints. He said he is seeking dialogue with the government of acting President Roberto Micheletti, but also urged his supporters to come to Tegucigalpa and stage peaceful protests.

Mr. Micheletti is demanding Brazil turn Mr. Zelaya over to the de facto government for arrest.

Brazil's foreign minister says his country played no part in Mr. Zelaya's return, but simply accepted his bid for asylum at the embassy. Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, warned the interim Honduran government that it is responsible for Mr. Zelaya's safety and the security of the Brazilian embassy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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