Nicaragua army says 2 rebel leaders killed
MANAGUA, Nicaragua (Reuters) -- Nicaragua's army said Monday that
two commanders of a rebel band roaming the remote Caribbean coast had
been found dead after battles with the military, their bodies decapitated in
an effort to hide their identities.
The army said in a communique that the two men likely died with five other
rebels in battles last week around Siuna, a rough-and-tumble mining town 250
miles northeast of Managua. The bodies of Laureano Rivera and Noel Lagos had
been decapitated, presumably by rebel comrades, and were identified through
fingerprints, officials said.
The two were believed to be leaders of the Andrew Castro United Front
(FUAC), one of the last armed rebel groups in Nicaragua to disarm in 1997.
Some FUAC members refused to lay down their weapons and two years later
kidnapped a Canadian mining engineer and Nicaraguan soldier, holding them for
a month. Roving armed members have been suspected in other violent attacks in
The FUAC was one of a series of left-wing and right-wing insurgent bands
continued to carry arms after the 1990 end of the civil war between the former
Soviet-backed Sandinista government and the U.S.-backed Contra insurgents.
While the FUAC subscribed to Sandinista ideals and included former Sandinista
soldiers, it had distanced itself from the party.
President Arnoldo Aleman has accused the opposition Sandinistas of supporting
the FUAC recently as a means of pressuring the population to support former
Sandinista President Daniel Ortega in the November presidential election.
Copyright 2001 Reuters.