San Salvador, the capital of the tiny central American republic of El Salvador, is beginning to take the appearance of a city under siege.
SV San Salvador. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Building with bomb damage. (2 SHOTS)
SV Bomb damage.
GV ZOOM IN TO SV Bricklayers reinforcing walls.
GV Store with windows boarded up.
GV PAN Deserted university campus. (2 SHOTS)
SV INTERIOR Troops searching drawers.
SV EXTERIOR Troops with smouldering leftist leaflets.
SV INTERIOR Soldier opening door in medical school to show SV PAN bodies of assassination victims in plastic bags. (2 SHOTS)
SV Left-wing slogans on wall.
GV & SV INTERIOR Military hospital with wounded soldiers in beds. (5 SHOTS)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: San Salvador, the capital of the tiny central American republic of El Salvador, is beginning to take the appearance of a city under siege. Bombings are frequent and left-wing groups often claim responsibility.
SYNOPSIS: In one of the latest attacks, a complex consisting of an office, bakery and nightclub was blown up by three bombs. Two other places nearby were also wrecked. Responsibility was claimed by the leftist faction, the People's Revolutionary Army. The Junta which rules El Salvador is confident the current bombings will peter out. But the leftists scoff at this idea.
In the wealthy suburbs, walls are being built around luxury homes to defend their occupants from guerrilla attacks. Some businesses have simply eliminated front windows as one way to reduce repair costs.
Another recent major confrontation took place at the now-deserted San Salvador University. A search of a slum on the edge of the campus exploded into fighting which left at least 25 civilians dead and the army in control of the university.
The army claims it found evidence that the university was being used as a left-wing refuge, where guerrilla propaganda was being printed and weapons and explosives were being stockpiled. The leftists say that because of government and rightist repression, a civil war is inevitable in El Salvador and they described the university raids as a frame-up.
The army's most dramatic find at the university was in the body storage room of the medical school. The Army claimed that three hundred bodies stored here were not for anatomical studies, but were the bodies of political victims. University officials denied this, but the army claimed that bodies dated last year showed signs of fresh blood.
The government does not release casualty figures, but many soldiers have been wounded in skirmishes with guerrillas. On the day this film was shot, this hospital was treating 85 soldiers. On the other side, thousands of leftists have died, many of them the victims of right-wing death squads.