Honduras IDs killers of football star Peralta

Arnold Peralta (AP)
Arnold Peralta (AP)

Tegucigalpa - The gunmen who murdered Honduras-born international football star Arnold Peralta in his hometown last week have been identified and are being sought, officials said on Wednesday.

"We have identified the persons believed to have participated" in the December 10 slaying, Honduran Security Minister Julian Pacheco told a news conference.

"In the coming hours we will carry out actions in this case," he promised.

"We have important leads that will lead to the capture of those responsible and at that point we will give the reasons why this player, so promising in our country, died in this criminal act," he said.

Gunmen killed the 26-year old former player for Scotland's Rangers club in a drive-by shooting in a shopping mall car park in the coastal city of La Ceiba. Security cameras caught the killing.

Police at the time discounted robbery as a motive, noting that Peralta's possessions were untouched.

The head of Honduras' police, Hector Ivan Mejia, told national media it appeared Peralta was killed for "individual, personal" reasons, but did not elaborate.

Peralta was laid to rest in La Ceiba on the weekend.

The midfielder made his name in the local leagues in his coastal hometown and was picked for the Honduras squad for the Under-20 World Cup in Egypt in 2009.

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

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