Nicaragua's Sandinista forces have intensified patrols to prevent Costa Rica-based Nicaraguan rebels from launching further cross-border attacks against the Managua government.
GV/SV Military patrol boats on river; civilian boat transport. (4 SHOTS)
SV PAN Town market area, soldiers patrolling, people talking. (4 SHOTS)
SV/GV Soldiers checking goods on ground, patrolling (2 SHOTS)
GV Sandinista soldiers patrolling, market place, local street.
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Background: Nicaragua's Sandinista forces have intensified patrols to prevent Costa Rica-based Nicaraguan rebels from launching further cross-border attacks against the Managua government. An estimated 1,000 "contras" led by former Sandinista, Eden Pastora, are operating along the San Juan River, which forms part of the Nicaraguan-Costa Rica frontier. Heavy fighting has been reported, but casualty have not been readily available. Nicaraguan military units now regularly patrol the river, and have begun checking for arms and explosives smuggled into the country by rebels and their sympathizers. A Costa Rican government spokesman indicated that rebels who entered southern Nicaraguan last week were pushed back into Costa Rican territory. Meanwhile, the so-called "Contadora Group" of foreign ministers from Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Panama has sent observers to evaluate the volatile border situation. They are expected to recommend the establishment of a Latin American peace-keeping force in order to reduce in the region.