Students, police clash in Honduras capital during anti-graft protest

Tegucigalpa (AFP) - Rock-hurling students clashed with riot police firing tear gas and water cannon in Honduras' capital Wednesday at a demonstration seeking a UN probe of alleged government graft.

Elsewhere, across the north of the country, hundreds of demonstrators backing the same call used burning tires to block roads. Many of them were from the country's Lenca indigenous community.

The protests were inspired by the September resignation and arrest of the president in neighboring Guatemala, Otto Perez, after a UN-backed body there exposed a corrupt network allegedly involving politicians taking bribes in exchange for lifting import duties.

In the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, hundreds of students from the city's National University clashed with dozens of riot police.

The leader of the "Outraged" opposition group behind many of the demonstrations, Miguel Briceno, was briefly arrested, then freed.

=National television showed around 500 protesters in the west of the country blocking the main road between the capital and Honduras' second city of San Pedro Sula.

"We want an International Commission Against Impunity in Honduras," some placards read, urging the creation of the same sort of body that brought down Guatemala's administration.

"We are tired of this dictatorship that represses the people, privatizes natural resources, and which is also repressing media that support our people," the head of the Lenca people, Salvador Zuniga, said.

The protests follow on from more than five months of demonstrations and marches and demand an independent, international probe of a revelation made last year by prosecutors that some $330 million was embezzled from the coffers of the state Social Security agency.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has admitted that $94,000 of the missing money found its way into his 2013 election campaign.

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