Three United States military advisors have been ordered to leave El Salvador for allegedly taking part in unauthorised combat operations against guerrillas.
MORAZAN PROVINCE: FEBRUARY 3-4: (PINKAS):
AV Houses destroyed by fighting (3 shots)
GV National guardsmen searching for guerrillas in deserted village (7 shots)
GV Soldiers placing dynamite to destroy fox holes used by guerrillas. The fox hole exploding (3 shots)
GV FMLN guerrilla banner and cache of arms captured by soldiers (3 shots)
USULUTAN PROVINCE: FEBRUARY 5: (NBC) (COMMENTARY IN):
GV Puente Cuscatlan bridge (2 shots)
CU PAN Map of Usulutan Province
GV Relay station where artillery guns are stationed (3 shots)
GV U.S. flag and embassy in San Salvador (2 shots)
EDITORS' NOTE: THIS STORY HAS PART COMMENTARY (SEQ. 5-8) BY NBC REPORTER DAN MOLINA WHICH MAY BE USED IF REQUIRED.
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Background: Three United States military advisors have been ordered to leave El Salvador for allegedly taking part in unauthorised combat operations against guerrillas. Two warrant officers and a master-sergeant were ordered back to the U.S. after reports they had taken part in two helicopter missions, against standing orders. A fourth advisor, Staff-Sergeant Jay Stanley, was wounded when guerrillas opened fire on a helicopter in eastern El Salvador on February 2. He was not relieved of his post because he only took part on the orders of his superior. In the north-eastern province of Morazan, El Salvador army commanders reported the operation re-taking about 20 villages and towns, captured by guerrillas in January, to be nearly at an end. Some 6,000 U.S.-trained soldiers have been sweeping the mountainous area near the Honduras border for nearly a month. The national guardsmen have been since carrying out mopping up operations, making sure there are no more guerrilla strongholds in Morazan province.
The Salvadorean troops have captured many caches of arms used by the guerrillas and destroyed their emplacements. Sergeant Stanley, the first U.S. casualty in the three-year-civil war, was wounded while taking part in an operation at Puente Cuscatlan bridge, in Usulutan province. His helicopter was acting as an airborne radio relay, passing instructions to government forces. The bridge is close to the city of Berlin, recaptured from guerrillas on February 2. The incident will reduce the number of U.S. military advisers in El Salvador to 33. The statutory limit is 55.