More than 5,000 government troops in El Salvador are trying to stem a major rebel offensive in the Morazan province of El Salvador.
GV Bus waiting on Usulutan road still to be cleared by guerrillas, PAN TO other vehicles. (4 SHOTS)
GV Soldiers patrolling area.
GV PAN Soldiers guarding a bridge. (3 SHOTS)
GV People carrying sacks of cotton on their backs because of lack of transport. (4 SHOTS)
GV Burnt out military truck PAN TO other wrecks.
GV TILT DOWN Banner and slogan on wall in Corinto.
GV PAN OF FMNL guerrillas. (3 SHOTS)
GV TILT UP, TILT DOWN Slogans on wall in town of Corinto, banner and church.
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Background: More than 5,000 government troops in El Salvador are trying to stem a major rebel offensive in the Morazan province of El Salvador. As U.S.-backed troops started to push towards guerrilla strongholds in the region, civilian traffic was still being delayed along the major Usulutan road following a rebel attack on January 18. The guerrilla's radio station Venceremos later reported that rebel commandos had slipped past army guards and blown up a road bridge in a bid to disrupt supplies to the area. Venceremos also announced that guerrillas planned to cause havoc to communications by crippling road traffic throughout El Salvador. The statement added that all vehicles moving on the road would be considered as targets. Over the past ten days, members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMNL) have captured 18 villages and hamlets, including Corinto, where the church was destroyed in the fighting. Military sources in EL Salvador have reported that U.S.-supplied A-37 bombers bombed guerrilla targets in the Morazan province to pave the way ford ground action by government troops. News of the latest fighting came as the U.S. State Department announced the Reagan administration will decide on January 21 whether or not to continue its aid to El Salvador. The administration is widely expected to continue the aid by testifying to Congress that El Salvador is making progress in human rights and internal reforms. El Salvador's record in this field must be reviewed twice a year under U.S. law.