Gun battles, bombings and arson were the background to the national elections held in Guatemala on Sunday (7 March).
GV Street scene in Guatemala City
GV Bomb wreckage, armed soldiers looking on (2 shots)
SV, CU Firemen looking at bomb wreckage, including bloodstained seats (3 shots)
SV Policemen taking statement in street from eye-witness
SV PAN Policemen clearing debris
GV Procession of trucks
GV Guatemalans queueing outside voting station (3 shots)
GV Masses of people queueing to vote
TV INTERIOR People collecting voting cars and marking them (3 shots)
GV EXTERIOR More long queues of voters with soldiers watching
TV Mr. Sandoval Alarcon of MLN Party arriving to vote (2 shots)
GV/SVs Lines of voters (3 shots)
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Background: Gun battles, bombings and arson were the background to the national elections held in Guatemala on Sunday (7 March). In the capital, Guatemala City, eight small bombs exploded, and three insurgents carrying other bombs were killed in gun battles with police. Leftist guerrillas, boycotting the elections, took control of two outlying villages and burned down municipal offices where polling was to take place. In general, voting was most interrupted in the countryside. But a spokesman for the ruling military government spoke of satisfaction with the public's reactions to the elections, and in Guatemala City itself long lines of people queued patiently at the city's several polling stations. The electoral commission has reported that the government-backed candidate, General Anibal Guevara, of the ruling Popular Democratic Front was well ahead after early counting. His two main challenge, Mario Sandoval Alarcon of the far right-wing National Liberation Movement (MLN) and Alejandro Malconado Aguirre of the Centrist opposition, were said to be battling for second place. The opposition are seeking ways of declaring the election null and void because of alleged voting irregularities.