A bomb threat emptied the U.S. Embassy Saturday, and a tense calm settled on the capital's streets from which tanks and soldiers were removed after two days of clashes the government blamed on leftist rebels.
In contrast to the running skirmishes Friday between riot police and demonstrators and violence Thursday night that prompted the suspension of civil liberties by the government, only scattered incidents were reported and most shops reopened after spending the previous day shuttered.Although relative calm returned to Tegucigalpa, tension remained in the air after a protest late Thursday at the U.S. Embassy where four demonstrators were killed and Friday's melees, which included the stabbing of two Americans, occurred.
Western reporters walking on the streets Saturday were frequently accosted by hostile individuals, saying "We don't like gringos here."
Dozens of tanks and hundreds of army soldiers dressed in full battle gear mostly withdrew from downtown and concentrated around the National Stadium and at a teacher's college, the National Superior School, where much of the current student unrest is based.
A bomb threat emptied the U.S. Embassy and unidentified gunmen shot out the windows of the offices of the Honduran Human Rights Commission, a sharp critic of the U.S. and Honduran governments.
In repeated broadcasts over national radio, government spokesmen accused international leftists, including the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the Salvadoran coalition of Marxist-led rebels known by its Spanish initials FMLN, of causing the disorder.
Police and army troops have arrested some 60 people in Tegucigalpa in the past 24 hours of unrest.