The Honduran military vowed retribution for the assassination of former armed forces chief Gen. Gustavo Adolfo Alvarez Martinez, the father of the Nicaraguan Contra rebel movement.

Officials said Alvarez, the founder of the U.S.-backed anti-Sandinista movement in Honduras, was slain Wednesday when six gunmen riddled the car he was sitting in outside his home in the capital's Florencia district.The armed forces said Wednesday that Alvarez, 56, had been "vilely assassinated" and it "deeply mourned the tragic death."

In a news release, it "energetically condemned the extremist forces that try to fill our country with blood and terror" and promised to "act according to the law against those who violate the norms of the law and human dignity, trying to upset tranquility and the democratic stability of our nation."