Left-wing militants who have been occupying the Spanish Embassy in San Salvador since Tuesday (5 February) have released two of their eight hostages.
LV AND CD EXTERIOR Spanish Embassy in San Salvador with Lp 28 Banners against walls (2 shots)
SV AND CU INTERIOR Spanish Ambassador talking to newsmen with members of 28th of February group listening (2 shots)
LV AND CU Banners outside Christian Democratic Party office (Lp 28)
CU PAN Bullet hole on CDP building
LV PAN AND CU EXTERIOR of closed West German Embassy with gates locked (4 shots)
SV Junta members seated in government palace (L to R - Ramon Avalos Navarrete, Dr Jose Antonio Morales Erlich and Hector Rada Hirezi) facing newsmen. (2 shots)
SCU Mr Navarrette (nearest camera replying to question in Spanish)
SV AND LV Newsmen surrounding three junta members (2 shots)
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Background: Left-wing militants who have been occupying the Spanish Embassy in San Salvador since Tuesday (5 February) have released two of their eight hostages. But the militants say the other hostages will not leave the building until five of their imprisoned colleagues are freed.
SYNOPSIS: A spokesman for the Popular Leagues of February 28 (Lp-28) which is occupying the embassy, said two Salvadorean employees were released on Saturday (9 February) as a goodwill gesture. But the spokesman said they would hold on to the Spanish ambassador, Victor Sanchez Mezaas and five other hostages until the authorities released five imprisoned colleagues. About 70 members of the league occupied the embassy and demanded the released of 14 colleagues. The government has since freed most of them. The ambassadors of France and Ecuador are acting as mediators along with local human rights organisations and church representatives.
Members of the Lp-28 still occupy the headquarters of the Christian Democratic Party in San Salvador and are holding the daughter of Jose Morales Erlich, a member of the ruling civilian-military junta.
The increasing violence in the country has led to a decision by West Germany to withdraw its diplomats. The West German Embassy closed its door on Saturday (9 February) because the ambassador said it was impossible to provide security for the staff.
The wave of violence in El Salvador has continued of the past six months. The LP -28 was formed in February 28, 1977 by militant students in protest against the alleged fraudulent election of President Carlos Humberto Romero, who was overthrown in a coup last october by the civilian-military junta. Since then, left -wing groups have expressed dissatisfaction with the pace of reforms and have declared war against the authorities.