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Rebels Kill Soldier, Wound 9 in Attack on Helicopter

March 7, 1990

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) _ Guerrillas opened fire on a military helicopter Tuesday, killing a soldier and wounding nine of the people aboard, including four Salvadoran journalists, the army reported.

Solicitor General Mauricio Eduardo Colorado was in the U.S.-made UH1H helicopter but was not hurt, an army news release said. Leftist rebels riddled the chopper with automatic weapons fire in Chalatenango, a northern province.

Colorado was returning from Guancorita, a small town 55 miles north of San Salvador, where he investigated allegations that the air force had bombed and strafed the area, killing or wounding many civilians.

The helicopter pilot and co-pilot, Capt. Sergio Calix Molina and Lt. Douglas Tochez Artiga, were wounded but managed to land in Guarjilla village and the wounded were taken to a San Salvador hospital, the army said.

It did not identify the dead soldier or the other wounded.

The journalists were identified as Samuel Arias, a television reporter for TCS Noticias; his cameraman, Manuel Diaz, and sound man, William Madrid, and Antolin de Jesus Herrera, a photographer for the newspaper Diario de Hoy.

One of the journalists was in serious condition, the army said, but it did not identify him.

Human rights groups say 73,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the civil war began in 1979.

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