The World

The Salvadoran army has launched a counterinsurgency campaign to head off a possible offensive by leftist rebels to improve their position before upcoming peace talks, Gen. Adolfo Blandon, El Salvador's top military commander, said. The rebels and the U.S.-backed government are preparing for a new round of talks in late July or August. Blandon said that troops are sweeping through guerrilla strongholds in "the principal areas of terrorist persistence."

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