Sandinista 'defectors' aiding Salvadoran leftists

The leftist guerrillas fighting for control in neighboring El Salvador may be receiving help from deserters leaving Nicaragua's veteran Sandinista Army. Sandinista Popular Army commanders along Nicaragua's northern border with Honduras acknowledged in recent interviews that scores of troops were defecting each day to join leftists in El Salvador.

The commanders said the Managua government has tried but failed to stop its troops from deserting. The US has approved a loan of 10 military helicopters to Honduras in an effort to halt the flow of men and arms to the Salvadoran leftists.

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