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Gang rivalry in Honduras to blame for shooting deaths of eight men

Forensic workers carry a body, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2016. Authorities in Honduras say killers wielding assault rifles shot to death eight men when gathered in front of the local business. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)

Forensic workers carry a body, on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Sunday, Jan. 14, 2016. Authorities in Honduras say killers wielding assault rifles shot to death eight men when gathered in front of the local business. (AP Photo/Fernando Antonio)  (Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistribu)

Killers wielding assault rifles shot eight men to death on the outskirts of the capital before dawn Sunday, Honduran authorities said, blaming a territorial dispute between rival street gangs.

Officials said the victims men were gathered in front of a local business when the gunmen arrived in a sport utility vehicle. The killers demanded to see the men's identification, then opened fire, authorities said.

The national forensics service said the victims ranged in age from 18 to 27.

The Security Secretariat said in a statement Sunday night that the shooting resulted from a dispute between gangs over territory. It said two of the dead were gang members, though it did not identify them or the gang.

Honduras has seen waves of killings, many related to the country's two main street gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. The Central American nation is one of the most violent in the hemisphere, with a homicide rate in 2015 of 57 per 100,000 inhabitants.

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