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American Nun Reported Kidnapped, Freed

January 9, 1985

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ An American Roman Catholic nun was captured by anti-Sandinista rebels in northern Nicaragua and freed a day later, apparently unharmed, the government radio station reported Wednesday.

The Voice of Nicaragua said the Maryknoll nun, whom it identified as Nancy Donovan, was captured Tuesday with nine other civilians in a rebel attack on the village of San Juan de Limay in the province of Esteli, 93 miles north of here.

The radio station said she was found in the town but did not say how she gained her freedom.

Susan Clyde, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy, said she had heard the report but had no information. ″We’re looking into it,″ she said. ″The Maryknoll sisters here tell us they don’t know anything about it and are unaware of any of their nuns in the region.″

The government radio said the nun and the other civilians were captured after rebels ambushed their vehicles. It did not identify the others or say what they were doing in the area.

More than 400 Americans are in the northern provinces of Jinotega and Matagalpa helping harvest the coffee crop, Nicaragua’s most important export.

An estimated 8,000 rebels, who have received support from the Reagan administration, are operating in northern Nicaragua in a nearly 3-year-old fight against the leftist Sandinista government.

The Voice of Nicaragua also reported that on Tuesday insurgents attacked workers of the Construction Ministry in San Sebastian de Yali near Ocotal, 143 miles north of Managua.

″In the attack, 12 workers were killed by the ‘contra’ bands and it is unknown so far if there are any more victims,″ the broadcast said.

The rebels, known as ″contras″ or counterrevolutionaries here, have engaged frequently in attacks of economic sabotage.

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