In Nicaragua, fierce fighting has broken out in the capital Managua between left-wing Sandinist National Liberation Front guerrillas and government forces.
GV Barricades in Managua with people walking past carrying white flags (2 shots)
GV PULL BACK Crowds behind barricade
SV PAN FROM Cobblestone barricade TO Armed Sandinista guerrillas behind barricade (2 shots)
GV Cobblestone barricade being built as armed Sandinistas keep watch (2 shots)
GV ZOOM INTO Sandinistas placing masks over their faces and hiding behind barricade with guns
GV Sandinista behind barricade
CU President Anastasio Somoza speaking to newsmen in English (3 shots)
SOMOZA: "Let me say that the Sandinistas are decided to shoot their last guns here, but they're not becoming stronger. If they were becoming stronger, we would have public demonstrations here. If they had the support of the people. I wouldn't be here."
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Background: In Nicaragua, fierce fighting has broken out in the capital Managua between left-wing Sandinist National Liberation Front guerrillas and government forces. It is the second attempt by the Sandinistas in less government forces. It is the second attempt by the Sandinistas in less than a year to overthrow the right-wing administration of President Anastasio Somoza. Although the government claims the guerrillas do not have any widespread popular support, the Sandinistas appear to have control of several areas of Managua.
SYNOPSIS: This poor suburb of the capital, Las Americas Number Four, is typical of the districts held by the guerrillas. On Sunday (10 June) barricades appeared in the streets for the first time. Up until then most of the fighting had taken place at night and the change of tactics marked the beginning of a major move by the guerrillas to take power in the capital. The government responded by launching a powerful counter-offensive. After a day of fierce hand-to hand fighting, President Somoza ordered his Air Force to bomb the Sandinista strongholds.
There are unconfirmed reports that several hundred people were killed in the bombardment. The International Red Cross refused to comment on casualty figures but said about fifteen thousand slum dwellers had fled from the fighting and were being housed in emergency centres. Unofficial estimates put the number killed in the fighting since the beginning of the year at four thousand. President Somoza remains adamant that he will not resign and dismisses the Sandinist guerrillas as left-wing delinquents. In a news conference in Managua on Monday (11 June), he denied that the guerrillas had the support of the majority of Nicaraguans.