News In Brief

US-Honduras exercises have concluded (for now)

About 350 US paratroopers made a mock assault on the San Lorenzo airfield in Honduras Saturday in a joint military exercise with Honduran troops, the Pentagon said.

A spokesman said the troops were rehearsing how to protect the airfield from an armored attack. He said about 130 Honduran troops took part in the maneuvers, which were to end Sunday.

On Friday the Penatagon announced two phases of new joint military exercises with Honduran forces. From April 1 to May 30, about 800 US engineers and other troops will build temporary landing strips for C-130 cargo planes at existing airfields at Cucuyagua and Jamastran. From May 23 to June 30, combined counterinsurgency operations with about 1,000 US troops taking part will end with paratroop landings on Honduran soil.

This followed Thursday's announcement from the Pentagon that more than 30,000 US troops will stage exercises from April 20 to May 6 in the Caribbean, Strait of Florida, Gulf of Mexico, and Atlantic Ocean, including landings on Puerto Rico and operations at Guantanamo Bay, the US naval base in Cuba.

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