Nicaraguan military beefs up presence in guerrilla zone
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) -- Nicaraguan will send troops to its northern
Atlantic region where a leftist paramilitary group is believed to have killed more
than 40 people in recent months.
Col. Cesar Delgadillo, head of military operations, said more than 300
and federal police will be sent to the region, about 200 miles (320 kilometers)
northeast of Managua, to combat the violence believed to be carried out by
Andres Castro United Front, a group of ex-Sandanista soldiers.
"We are going to try to bring order back to the zone," Delgadillo said.
He did not say when the troops would be sent.
The group of ex-Sandinista soldiers was one of several groups of former
combatants that formed to demand government aid in the aftermath of
Nicaragua's Contra war in the 1980s. The group officially disarmed in 1997
under an agreement with the government, but police say some members kept
their weapons and turned to crime.
Delgadillo said the group is tied to drug trafficking.
Two weeks ago, gunmen firing assault rifles killed 11 adult members of
family in the area and then burned their home, police said. A day earlier, three
soldiers were killed in an ambush in the same general area.
Last month, gunmen ambushed a police vehicle, killing five people. Two
earlier, a government representative escaped injury when soldiers shielded him