The mayor of the western town of Dolores Merendon was fatally shot Tuesday by unknown assailants, Honduran police said.

Manuel de Jesus Guzman was declared dead on arrival at a hospital, Deputy Inspector Manuel Garcia told reporters.

"The mayor was attacked by unknown persons on the highway between San Jeronimo municipality and Dolores Merendon, and was taken badly wounded to a hospital in the area but died on the way," the police officer said.

Guzman was elected mayor of Dolores Merendon in November 2009 on the ticket of Honduras' ruling National Party.

Up to now security forces investigating the murder have not determined the motive.

Honduras's 2011 homicide rate of 92 murders per 100,000 people was one of the highest in the world, U.N. experts said in a recent report.

About 18 violent deaths occur in the Central American country daily, according to figures compiled by the National Police and human rights groups. EFE