updated 3/2/2008 9:33:27 PM ET 2008-03-03T02:33:27

Eight people were shot dead at a billiards hall in northern Honduras on Sunday by gunmen disguised as policemen, Honduran police said.

Wearing police uniforms, six assailants fired Kalashnikov rifles and handguns from a truck parked outside a pool hall in San Pedro Sula, a city plagued by violent gangs and drug traffickers, deputy police chief Edgardo Villeda said.

Seven people were killed on the spot and an eighth died on the way to the hospital, Villeda said.

"It was cold blooded murder, the victims had no way out," he said. "We don't believe this was perpetrated by police, but by men who had taken our uniform."

The motive of the attack was unclear and police were investigating.

Honduras last month began a nationwide effort to halt a rising wave of violence and stem the flow of guns on the street. A majority of the hundreds of murders, kidnappings, armed robberies and assaults that have taken place in the country since 2006 remain unsolved.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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