Left wing guerillas have released hundreds of hostages seized when they invaded Nicaragua's National Palace on Tuesday (22 August).
GV: injured person being dragged down steps of government building.
GV: troops running in street nearby.
GV: injured man dragged across road.
GV: troops arrive in jeeps and take up positions.
SV: soldier runs under cover of wall and car.
GV: sounds of shots continues while troops head for cover near parked cars.
GV: street scene, vehicle struck by gun-fire.
SV: soldier running and leaping for cover as gunshots are heard.
GV: ambulance with siren sounding arrives.
SV: excited people under cover of building.
GV: a soldier approaches cautiously, and sound of more shots heard.
SV: man on balcony of a building.
GV: people wearing Red Cross symbols walk from Government building and greeted other Red Cross people. (3 shots)
A wave of violence has affected Nicaragua since the murder of an Opposition newspaper Editor, Pedro Joaquin Chamorro at the beginning of the year. Early in July a 24 hour general strike was called by the newly formed opposition front against the regime of President Somoza which has ruled Nicaragua for more than 40 years. Later that month, left wing guerillas believed to be from the Sandinist Liberation Front dedicated to President Somoza's overthrow fired an anti-tank rocket failed to explode but a second smashed in to the Infantry Training School commanded by General Somoza's son, Major Anastasio Somoza Portocarrero.
EUROVISION SATELLITE TELERECORDING
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Background: Left wing guerillas have released hundreds of hostages seized when they invaded Nicaragua's National Palace on Tuesday (22 August). However, they held on to 40 Parliamentarians and a Government Minister.
SYNOPSIS: Official sources said that 20 guerillas who were members of the Sandinist National Liberation Front attacked the Palace at about midday local time. Hundreds of people were inside the Palace which houses the Interior and Finance Ministries and the National Congress. The guerillas had been dressed in the Olive green uniforms of the National Guard. They disarmed police guarding the building and exchanged gunfire with legitimate National Guardsmen in armoured vehicles who immediately surrounded the Palace.
Among the hostages were several journalists, one of whom was reported to have, by telephone, said that the guerrillas had killed four soldiers but this could not be confirmed.
Church authorities said the Archbishop of Managua, Monsignor Miguel Obando, had agreed to act as mediator. He and another Bishop were allowed to enter the building and after negotiations, the guerillas allowed 15 wounded people to leave the building and they were taken away in ambulances. Then hundreds of minor Government employees were allowed to leave. However the important Government hostages were retained. The guerillas said they were being held to back demands for a 10 million dollar ransom together with the release of more than one hundred political prisoners and an aircraft to fly them out of the country.