A 54-year-old Honduran journalist was killed by a machete-wielding attacker, police said Sunday, in the 18th fatal attack on a member of the news media in the past two years.

Police said Fausto Evelio Hernandez, was riding his bicycle on his way home Saturday when he was attacked in Saba, some 600 kilometers (400 miles) north of the capital.

Deputy police commissioner Osmin Bardales told AFP that the journalist, who was an on-air announced for Radio Alegre, "tried to put his arm out (to defend himself) against the first machete blow and had it nearly severed."

The attacker then let loose with nine fierce machete blows to the victim's head, the police official said.

The motive did not appear to be robbery because Hernandez was discovered with all his possessions, Bardales added.

The official said there were witnesses but they would not help identify the attacker.

A total of 18 journalists have been murdered in Honduras in the last two years.

Last December, Honduran journalist Luz Marina Paz was shot dead by gunmen along with a mechanic traveling with her.

She was killed in an attack outside the capital and became the 17th journalist killed in the Central American nation since a 2009 coup.

She had worked for Radio Globo, linked to ousted president Manuel Zelaya, before joining the Cadena Hondurena de Noticias or CHN broadcaster.

In 2010, 11 journalists were killed in the country -- one of the most violent in the region -- and where public safety has deteriorated since the June 29, 2009 military-backed coup.

Honduras has become a transit point for cocaine from South America heading into the United States. Drug gangs are better armed than the police, and have cash to bribe law enforcement and politicians.