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September 20, 1978 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

10-Wednesday, September 20, 1978-The Michigan Daily

Troops close in

on rebels

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -
Rebels barricaded the streets of Esteli
yesterday as government troops circled
the city in an attempt to smash the last
guerrilla stronghold in the violent
uprising against President Anastasio
Somoza.
The rebels, reinforced by companions
from the government-captured towns of
Leon and Chinandenga, were reported
in control of the city, but their force was
not known.
RESIDENTS AND reporters leaving
town said sandbag and cobblestone
barricades chest high and four feet
thick stretched across many streets.
The Sandinista guerrillas appeared to
be better armed and organized than
those in any of the other cities, and
observers said the battle could be
bloodier than any since the rebels
launched their attack on national guard
posts Sept. 9.
The national guard, Nicaragua's
7,500-man army, straddled the Pan
American highway leading into the
city, strafed rebel positions from the air
and appeared ready to send in ground
forces. Troops were airlifted to the
north of the city, trying to tighten the
noose around the city.
ESTELI, ABOUT 90 miles north of
Managua, normally has a population of
about 30,000. It was the northern point
of a triangle of northwestern cities held
start tl
0t
ithout

by the rebels for a week before the
national guard recaptured them in
bloody confrontations.
The guerrillas, estimated to number
anywhere from 400 to 2,000, were joined
by hundreds of sympathizers and got
control of the major cities of
Matagalpa, Masaya, Leon and
Chinandenga, but the rebels were
outgunned and forced to flee.
The Red Cross has estimated that 300
were killed and 3,000 wounded in Leon
and 200 killed in Masaya. There has
been no reliable report or estimate of
guard casualties.
THE GUARD assault on Esteli -
meant to keep the rebels from escaping
again into the hills - could meet fierce
resistance. The approach from the
south winds through canyons and the
rebels control the cliffs just outside
town.
A dirt road leads into the city from
the west, but travel was difficult
because the road was muddied by rains
from Hurricane Greta.
Southern Nicaragua is in government
hands and Managua remains under
heavy guard while Somoza's troops
search all vehicles entering or leaving
the city. A strict curfew from 8 p.m. to 5
a.m. is in effect with the guard ordered
to shoot on sight.
EVEN THOUGH Esteli appears to be
the last rebel stronghold, sources in

Managua warned against considering
the rebellion over. They said many
guerrillas have fled into Honduras and
Costa Rica to regroup and could attack
again.
A Managua resident reported heavy
gunfire during the night in a
neighborhood of the capital where
troops reportedly attacked a guerrilla
hideout. Unconfirmed reports said 16
guerrillas were killed.
Managua's airport was jammed with
people trying to leave the country.
COPA, a Panamanian airline,
increased its daily flights from
Managua to six to handle the increased
volume. Lanica, the Nicaraguan

airline, maintained a regular schedule,
but other international carriers
reduced flights into the capital to one
per day.
Relations remained strained between
Nicaragua and Costa Rica, its neighbor
to the south. Costa Rica has given
shelter to guerrillas crossing the border
and claims Nicaraguan forces have
attacked civilians inside Costa Rica.
In Washington, State Department
spokesman Hodding Carter expressed
deep concern and again called for a
cease-fire and prompt mediation to end
the fighting. He also called on the
government and rebels to avoid action
that might harm civilians.

House cuts off
abortion funds'

Can't

he
it?

d

y

LANSING (UPI) - The state House
yesterday voted again to cut off public
funding for abortions in Michigan.
A $520 million Medicaid budget
containing abortion restrictions vetoed
earlier this year by Gov. William
Milliken was sent to the Senate on a 67-
34 vote following roughly an hour of
debate.
A VERSION of the measure which
would have allowed continued funding
for welfare abortions was rejected 57-
42.
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The action makes more likely a
confrontation which could jeopardize
all Medicaid funding.
Milliken has vowed to veto the
Medicaid budget for a second time if it
reaches his desk with the anti-abortion
language.
Funding for all Medicaid services is
due to expire Sept. 30 if agreement is
not reached on a new budget measure.
THE HOUSE-PASSED bill
effectively cuts off Medicaid funding by
allocating a total of $1 for "non-
therapeutic abortions."
Debate on the abortion bill was
lengthy but there were only occasional
emotional outbursts.
Some Republicans accused backers
of the funding cutoff of deliberately
attempting to embarrass Milliken on
the issue by placing it on his desk just
prior to the November election.
State Sen. William Fitzgerald, the
Democratic candidate for governor, is
a staunch opponent of welfare
abortions. Rep. Louis Cramtom, (R-
Midland), said reviving the anti-
abortion language was "merely a waste
bf this body's time" although there
"may be some political benefit to
somebody by going through this drill."
Among the British Crown jewels are
the two largest cut diamonds in the
world, both of which came from a single
one-and-a-half pound diamond, says
National Geographic.

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