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Protesters denounce coup in Honduras

Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales addresses the 62nd General Assembly at the United Nations on September 25, 2007 in New York City. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/c2305404cf4798d22ad4f88442d9f224/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Honduras President Manuel Zelaya Rosales addresses the 62nd General Assembly at the United Nations on September 25, 2007 in New York City. (UPI Photo/Monika Graff) | License Photo

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, June 29 (UPI) -- Hundreds of demonstrators converged outside the presidential residence in Honduras Monday to protest President Manuel Zelaya's removal in a military coup.

Police reportedly used tear gas to quell the protesters calling for the return of the deposed president, El Heraldo newspaper reported online.

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Meanwhile, the new head of the country, provisional President Roberto Micheletti swore in a new Cabinet Monday.

Military troops arrested Zelaya Sunday before a proposed referendum on presidential term limits. Zelaya wanted to seek a second term next year. By law, the Honduran leader, elected in 2005, is limited to one term in office.

President Barack Obama, during a media availability with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Monday, said the United States has joined other countries in the region in expressed concern about the coup.

"President Zelaya was democratically elected," Obama said. "We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday during the department's daily briefing the Organization of American States will meet Wednesday to address the issue.

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"Our immediate priority is to restore full democratic and constitutional order in that country," she said. "As we move forward, all parties have a responsibility to address the underlying problems that led to yesterday's events in a way that enhances democracy and the rule of law in Honduras."

She said the United States would work with the OAS and others to open communication channels, restore democratic order, address the problems of polarizing Honduran politics "and ensure that Honduras moves successfully towards its scheduled presidential elections in November of this year."

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