TEGUCIGALPA: More than 20 people, including civilians and security personnel, were injured during protests against the alleged electoral fraud in the Honduras, officials said.
The coalition Opposition Alliance against the Dictatorship, led by Salvador Nasralla, has alleged electoral fraud in the November 26, 2017 presidential elections which saw incumbent Juan Orlando Hernandez declared the winner, Efe news reported.
The country's Secretariat of Security informed in a statement that 17 members of the security forces were hurt during the protests on Friday, which were initially peaceful, but culminated in a face-off between the protesters and the security forces close to the Presidential Palace.
Six civilians were also injured and admitted to the Hospital Escuela Universitario, said a hospital official, who added that none of the cases were serious and they would be discharged soon.
Thousands of people participated in the protests -- including Nasralla and former President Manuel Zelaya, who was deposed in a coup in 2009 -- and lawmaker Jari Dixon of the Liberty and Refoundation (Libre) party was also hurt as they turned violent.
Zelaya, who attempted to reach where the first security cordon was located, suffered the effects of the tear gas launched by the police and the military to disperse the protesters.
According to the Secretariat of Security, there were several incidents of vandalism, and businesses in the area were damaged.
Nasralla, who withdrew from the scene once the first round of tear gas was launched, said that those who have caused damage are infiltrators from the governing National Party of Honduras.
He does not recognize the result declared by the Supreme Electoral Court, which on December 17 declared Hernandez to be the victor, and assures that he was the winner.
Before the protests turned violent, Nasralla told reporters that Friday's protests were a rehearsal of what was going to happen from January 20, until the "dictator" resigns.
He added that with the support of the people, he will assume power on January 27, the date when Hernandez is officially scheduled to be inaugurated.