Further protests are expected in the coming days with more Zelaya supporters marching to Tegucigalpa from various regions of Honduras, expecting to converge on the capital on August 10.

Adding to the pressure, some 15,000 nurses and other workers at 28 hospitals declared themselves on an indefinite strike, joining public school teachers who have been off the job for weeks.

The OAS wants to see Zelaya return to Honduras ahead of new elections [EPA]
The protests come as the Organisation of American States agreed on Wednesday to send a delegation to the central American nation sometime next week.

It hopes to persuade the Honduran interim president, Roberto Micheletti, to negotiate with mediators seeking to return the ousted president.

They want Micheletti to accept a Costa Rican plan under which Zelaya would return to power until new elections could be held.

Jose Miguel Insulza, the secretary-general of the OAS, said that the organisation would name a group of up to five foreign ministers of member countries who would travel next week to Honduras.

Zelaya, who was whisked out of Honduras following the coup, has said negotiations last month mediated by Oscar Arias, the Costa Rican president, foundered because of Micheletti's refusal to consider his reinstatement.