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International footballer shot dead

11 December 2015, 12:40

Tegucigalpa - Gunmen killed Honduras international and former Rangers star Arnold Peralta in a drive-by shooting in a shopping mall car park, police said.

The 26-year-old was assassinated in his home city of La Ceiba, police spokesman Commissioner Leonel Sauceda told AFP.

Peralta, who had been playing for Olimpia, the top side in Honduras, is the latest victim of apparent gang violence in Honduras, where gang warfare has given it one of the highest murder rates in the world.

Police were hunting for at least one gunman, said Sauceda, adding that the motive was unlikely to be a robbery because none of Peralta's belongings were taken.

"Apparently it was one or two individuals who were traveling in a vehicle -- a motorcycle or car," he added.

Osman Madrid, Olimpia vice president, told HRN radio station: "We are saddened, dismayed."

Peralta's name trended on Twitter, where fans of Scottish side Rangers remembered him fondly as a committed player who endeared himself to the Ibrox crowd with his work rate.

Peralta made his name in the local leagues in the coastal city of La Ceiba and was picked for the Honduras squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009. He was in the squad for the 2012

He joined Rangers in 2013 but returned home in January this year to sign for Olimpia, the most successful team in Honduras.

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