OAS ready to negotiate with Salvadoran rebels

Officials of the Organization of American States are ready to negotiate with guerrillas holding 11 hostages since last Wednesday in the OAS office in San Salvador. The guerrillas, members of the Democratic Revolutionary Front, are demanding the release of 200 political prisoners and an end to the state of siege declared by El Salvador's US-backed junta.Leftist sympathizers also took over 17 schools and six churches throughout the country. Guerrillas ambushed an Army patrol near the OAS office Saturday, but it was not clear if they were front members. At least 4,500 people have been killed in El Salvador this year in battles between left- and right-wing extremists and security forces.

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