Security Agents Kill 12 Suspected Guerrillas in Shootouts in Santiago
SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) _ Security agents killed 12 suspected leftist guerrillas during a series of gun battles in Santiago, authorities reported Tuesday.
They said the suspected rebels were killed when they resisted arrest, but the wife of one of the victims claimed her husband ″was murdered.″
According to the official report, the clashes took place in four different neighborhoods in Santiago between noon Monday and 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The official news agency ORBE said all the victims were members of the Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front, a leftist guerrilla organization that the military regime claims has ties with the outlawed Communist Party.
In the bloodiest incident, police reported security agents raided a house in northern Santiago and killed four men and three women around 5 a.m. Tuesday. They said the agents moved in only after the suspected guerrillas refused to surrender and opened fire.
Earlier, agents killed 30 year-old-economist Recaredo Valenzuela around noon Monday in a Santiago neighborhood, officials reported.
The Chilean secret police, known by its Spanish initials CNI, said in a communique that Valenzuela was a high-ranking member of the guerrilla orgaization in charge of logistics.
It also said Valenzuela was killed after he shot at security agents trying to detain him.
However, Valenzuela’s widow, Cecilia Carvallo, disputed the official version and claimed her husband ″was murdered″ by agents shooting from a moving car.
The CNI said Valenzuela was sought in connection with a guerrilla raid over the weekend in a Santiago slum.
The four other victims were shot and killed in separate incidents, according to the various reports, but no details were given.
The official report did not say if the CNI agents suffered any casualties in the clashes, but state television said ″several″ agents were wounded.
The Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front has claimed responsibility for several armed attacks against the 13-year-old military regime, including the unsuccsessful attempt on the life of President Augusto Pinochet last year.
The group was formed about three years ago. It took its name from Manuel Rodriguez, a Chilean who used guerrilla tactics during Chile’s struggle for independence from Spain last century.