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Contras Attack Rice Mill

November 16, 1987

MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) _ Contra rebels attacked a rice mill in northeastern Nicaragua Monday, causing extensive damage and wounding at least three civilians and nine soldiers, military sources said.

The Defense Ministry said the attack occurred at 12:30 a.m. near Acoyapa, 100 miles east of Managua in Chontales province. It was the third assault in three years on the mill, the ministry said.

Military sources in the region, speaking on condition they were not identified, said that among the wounded was an 8-year-old boy, Alvaro Zeledon Vargas.

A Defense Ministry official, speaking on condition he was not identified, said about 100 people lived at the mill. He said no information was available on whether any Contras were killed or wounded in the attack.

The Contras have been fighting for six years against the leftist Sandinista government, which came to power in a 1979 revolution that deposed rightist dictator Anastasio Somoza.

In other developments Monday:

-The Defense Ministry said the U.S.-financed rebels dynamited two electrical power poles on the Rama Road, about 150 miles east of the capital.

-The pro-government newspaper El Nuevo Diario reported that the Sandinista military began a ″vast operation″ Sunday to find rebels hiding in the mountains around Jinotega, 100 miles northeast of Managua.

-The Sandinista newspaper Barricada reported that 20 rebels were killed in fighting around San Marcos, 15 miles north of Jinotega. The ministry said it had no information on the attack.

Much of the fighting takes place in remote rural areas. Both sides restrict access, and casualty claims are difficult to verify.

-About 1,000 dock workers in the Pacific port of Corinto refused to work Monday to protest new measures restricting access to the docks.

Julio Ayerdis, secretary-general of the Corinto Stevedores Union, said in a telephone interview that the measures ″don’t let stevedores into the dock facilities who aren’t working to load or unload″ and charin port, on Monday.

A secretary answering the telephone at the office of the port manager, Francisco Martinez Saravia, said he was not available for an interview.

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