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Five killed in second attack on Honduras family

AFP , Tuesday 7 Feb 2017
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A family in Honduras' capital was attacked overnight for the second time in as many days by a gang exacting a murderous price on those refusing to meet its extortion demands, relatives and police said Tuesday.

Five people were fatally gunned down in the family home late Monday as they were observing a wake for a 20-year-old man who a day earlier had been murdered in the same house, his mother Juana Cerrato, told AFP.

Both times, heavily armed gang members had burst into the address, spraying bullets.

The young man, Edgard Ramirez, was a conductor on a city bus service -- a favorite target of gangs that extort money from local companies to finance turf wars and drug trafficking.

Cerrato said she did not know the reason for the latest attack. But she said her son had been frightened that the gangs were murdering bus conductors.

She said that, before his murder, they had gone to police to ask for protection but had been waved away and told "they aren't private guards."

Police put out a statement after the overnight massacre that they were collecting evidence with the aim of catching those responsible.

Four people who survived the attack on the wake were taken to hospital with bullet wounds.

Honduras is ranked as one of the most dangerous countries in the world outside of war zones. It has a murder rate nearly 10 times the world average according to the World Health Organization.

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