Six Americans Among 13 Slain in San Salvador Cafes
Gunmen dressed in El Salvador army uniforms sprayed two crowded outdoor cafes with automatic weapons fire, killing 13 people--including four U.S. Marines and two other Americans--officials said today.
President Reagan condemned the killings as “an act of indiscriminate terrorism” and ordered technical assistance and accelerated delivery of military hardware to El Salvador to combat leftist guerrillas.
Reagan also said he will consult with Congress on additional military assistance for the U.S.-backed government.
All the Marines at the cafes Wednesday night were U.S. Embassy guards in civilian clothes, embassy spokesman James Williams said. He said it was not clear if the attack was directed at the Marines.
Salvadoran authorities said that besides the six Americans, two Guatemalans, one Chilean and four Salvadorans were killed and 15 people were injured.
“At this point it appears to have been an act of random terrorism,” Williams said. He characterized the gunmen as “a squad of guerrillas dressed as though they were members of the Salvadoran armed forces.”
Embassy personnel who were at the scene believed that the assailants were guerrillas because, although they had government uniforms, they were wearing civilian shoes.
Wang Employees Died
Officials of Wang Laboratories in Lowell, Mass., said that two of its American employees--George Viney, based in Coral Gables, Fla., and Robert Alvidrez of Lowell--were killed in the attack.
The Pentagon identified the Marines as Sgt. Thomas T. Handwork, 24, of Boardman, Ohio; Cpl. Gregory H. Webber, 22, of Cincinnati; Sgt. Bobby J. Dickson, 27, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Cpl. Patrick R. Kwiatowski, 20, of Wausau, Wis.
The Marines were seated at a sidewalk table when the gunmen “pulled up in automobiles, hopped out and began spraying” patrons of the cafe located in Zona Rosa, an area of nightclubs and restaurants in the capital. They escaped in a pickup truck, Williams said. He said there were between six and 10 assailants.