Political Violence Takes 86 Lives in El Salvador

From Reuters

Archbishop Arturo Rivera y Damas said Sunday that 86 people died in political violence last week, eight of them civilians murdered by right-wing death squads.

"The ominous death squads have assassinated eight people, leaving marks of cruelty on their mutilated bodies," the prelate said in his weekly homily.

He said that according to the church's human rights organization, Tutela Legal, five other civilians, 61 guerrillas and 12 soldiers died in battles between the U.S.-backed army and left-wing rebels.

Since the beginning of the year, the country has been swept by political violence that the church says is linked to local government elections due at the end of the month.

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