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Contras Reportedly Ambush Truck, Kill 11 Civilians

July 4, 1987

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ U.S.-backed Contra rebels on Friday ambushed a pickup truck used for public transportion, killing 11 civilians and wounding five, the state radio reported.

The Voice of Nicaragua said the ambush occurred at near Quebrada El Zapote, a small town 11 miles northwest of Nueva Guinea and 115 miles southeast of Managua.

A government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he talked by telephone with one of the wounded, Carlito Mejia Moraga, a 14-year-old boy. The official said the boy was being treated for a bullet wound in his leg at a hospital in Juigalpa, 48 miles northwest of the ambush site.

According to the official, the boy said all aboard the truck were civilians, and that they were attacked by a large group of Contras on a country road.

″They did not ask if we were civilians or military. They just shot at us,″ the source quoted the boy as saying.

Also brought to the Camilo Ortega Saavedra Hospital in Juigalpa was a 30- year-old health worker named Maria Huete Obando, who received bullet wounds in the back, an arm and a leg.

The other wounded were taken to a hospital in Nueva Guinea, where the transport had been bound, the source said, although the state radio said they were all taken to Juigalpa.

The Contras are fighting to overthrow Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government. The Sandinistas led a revolution that toppled the right-wing dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979.

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