Honduras says troops take control of El Paraiso dam

EL PARASO, Honduras (AP) Honduran troops on Friday seized the country’s largest hydroelectric dam, bringing an end to a year of fighting and deepening the crisis in a region where tensions between indigenous people and foreign powers have heightened.

The Honduran military said in a statement that troops were advancing on the dam’s control tower after a night of heavy fighting and heavy shelling.

It said the dam had been closed and that authorities were investigating whether the armed forces have breached the dam.

The military had been battling insurgents and leftist guerrillas who had taken control of the region from the military for more than a year, prompting a wave of violence that killed thousands of people and displaced millions.

The army’s move comes a day after Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez said troops had captured a key base in the region and were planning to install a wall and a water treatment plant in the area, where thousands of residents have been displaced.

Honduras is in a volatile standoff with a group of armed groups led by the former president Jose Mujica, whose government has long faced criticism for failing to do enough to halt the countrys slide into chaos and violence.

The U.S. Embassy in Honduras said on Friday it had no immediate comment on the military’s announcement.

Hernandez said in June that his government would take back control of most of the country after the military had captured the capital, Tegucigalpa, and taken control over the eastern regions.

He said the country would be able to resume normal life once the military withdrew from the country.

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