INTRODUCTION: The President of El Salvador, Jose Napoleon Duarte, has claimed that the latest offensive by anti-government guerrillas has failed; and called on them to lay down their arms.
GV Army roadblock near San Miguel east of San Salvador, with truck and car passing (2 shots)
SV Damaged bus forming part of roadblock
SV INTERIOR Reporter enters ward in hospital
GV ZOOM IN & SV Olivier Rebbot in bed, wounded, colleague Beth Nissen standing by him (2 shots)
GV San Lorenzo village, guerrillas in street
SVs Guerrillas relaxing (2 shots)
MEXICO: SV & SCU Guillermo Ungo speaking to Soviet reporter in Spanish (2 shots)
ENG TELERECORDING & EUROVISION TELERECORDING
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The President of El Salvador, Jose Napoleon Duarte, has claimed that the latest offensive by anti-government guerrillas has failed; and called on them to lay down their arms. But leaders of the Democratic Revolutionary Front have said that the lull in the fighting in the past few days was just to allow their forces to regroup, and that the war against the ruling junta would go on.
SYNOPSIS: The guerrilla offensive, which had lasted six days, had died down by last week-end (17-18 January). But the army remained on the alert. After President Carter's decision to resume United States military aid to the junta, the authorities thought there might be a new attack to coincide with President Reagan's inauguration; but all stayed fairly quiet.
In heavy fighting last week at Gotera, near the Honduras border, a French photographer was badly wounded. He is Olivier Rebbot, working for "Newsweek" magazine. He was flown to hospital in San Salvador. M. Rebbot was out with an army patrol when he was caught in guerrilla crossfire.
San Lorenzo, in the centre of the country, is guerrilla territory. Forces of the Democratic Revolutionary Front have held it for three months. Meanwhile, leaders of various guerrilla groups have been travelling abroad to put their case. Several were recently in Mexico, where the Front Chairman, Guillermo Ungo, spoke to a reporter from Soviet Television.
Senor Ungo, who is a university professor in El Salvador, acknowledged the support that the Soviet Union had given to the national liberation movement. He said he was very satisfied with what the revolution had achieved so far; and the movement was looking forward to the future with optimism, and hoping to mount a political campaign, both nationally and internationally. It valued the support of peoples and governments anywhere in its struggle against the present regime in El Salvador. Professor Ungo has since gone to Ecuador. It was there that he said the present pause in the fighting was simply to give time to prepare for a new onslaught.