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Honduras Refuses Plane With Ousted President Zelaya


Honduran troops have blocked the airport in the capital to prevent ousted President Manuel Zelaya from returning to the country. Mr. Zelaya's supporters clashed with police in Tegucigalpa, killing at least one person.

Honduran soldiers moved trucks and other equipment onto the runway as the plane carrying ousted President Zelaya approached the city. Air traffic controllers said the plane was not authorized to land and warned it would be intercepted if it tried to touch down.

Thousands of supporters cheered as the Venezuelan plane carrying Mr. Zelaya circled over the airport before leaving the nation's airspace.

Troops fired tear gas into the crowd, after supporters tried to enter the airfield. Emergency officials said at least one person was shot and killed in the clash, and several others were injured.

Zelaya Calls For End to Violence

After landing in San Salvador, Mr. Zelaya offered his condolences to the civilians involved in the clash, and called for an end to violence. The ousted leader said he was begging and ordering security forces to stop repressing the nation's people.

Earlier, Honduran police lieutenant Hector Mejillas gave a televised address, saying the interim government expressed regret for what took place at the airport. And he cautioned Hondurans and foreigners in the country who are involved in demonstrations in support of Mr. Zelaya.

Mejillas said people should avoid causing disturbances or provoking public sentiment, because these acts only hurt the nation's progress.

Interim President Wants Zelaya to Turn Himself In

Earlier, interim President Roberto Micheletti said he authorized military forces to block the ousted leader's return in an effort to avoid violence. Mr. Micheletti said he hoped the ousted president would take time to reflect on his actions and decide to turn himself in to Honduran authorities in what he called "a normal way."

Officials say that if Mr. Zelaya returns to the country, he will be arrested to face 18 charges, including treason and abuse of power.

Mr. Zelaya had hoped to return to Honduras and reclaim the presidency - one week after troops seized him in a pre-dawn raid and placed him on a
plane to Costa Rica.

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