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Honduran President Hails Drop in Murder Rate

FILE - A girl closes her eyes as she sits at the scene of a murder in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Dec. 1, 2014.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez says the deployment of special military police has cut the country's murder rate, one of the world's highest.

In a speech marking his first year in office Sunday, Mr. Hernandez said the murder rate last year fell 23 percent - from 86 to 66 per 100,000 people.

He said the government is having success in battling international drug gangs and organized crime that have infested the country.

President Hernandez thanked police and security officials for what he calls their courage and sacrifice, and said all Hondurans appreciate their efforts.

Honduras is one of the world's most impoverished countries. Its large cities, Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, are at the mercy of street gangs and Mexican drug cartels.