TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) — Honduras' government is assigning soldiers to ride buses in urban areas as a way to free police officers for foot patrols in neighborhoods afflicted by crime and insecurity.
President Porfirio Lobo says there will be at least two soldiers on each bus on 20 routes in the capital and in the city of San Pedro Sula. He says the move is "in response to outcry from various sectors of society."
Officials say the deployment will eventually extend throughout Honduras.
On Tuesday, the government extended a nearly year-old national state of emergency for six months, allowing troop deployments in civilian areas.
The new operation is the second time Honduran soldiers have been placed on public buses, which are frequently targeted by gang members who rob and extort passengers and drivers.