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article imageSeven massacred by gunmen in Honduran capital

By AFP     Nov 25, 2015 in World

Seven people were murdered in Tegucigalpa Wednesday by gunmen in the second massacre in as many days in Honduras, a Central American country gripped by gang violence, police said.

Six men and a woman, all aged between 18 and 36, were taken from three separate houses to a location in the southwest of the city where they were shot and killed, police spokesman Leonel Sauceda told reporters.

On Tuesday, in the north of the country, another eight people working for a local transport company were killed in a separate attack, he added.

The motives for the massacres were not yet known, Sauceda said.

Honduras is suffering frequent bloodshed linked to armed street gangs that battle each other and the police.

Drivers and other employees of bus companies have been especially targeted by the gangs, which extort money from them for a so-called "war tax".

A violence observatory at the country's National University has recorded 92 massacres so far this year and a total of 335 victims -- half of whom were public transport workers or passengers.

Last year, Honduras held the rank as the country with the highest rate of murders in the world, 68 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the observatory.

That rate was even higher two years ago, at 79 for 100,000 inhabitants. In 2014, the new president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, boosted the security forces to try to counter the violence.

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