Salvador guerrillas appeal for talks to end civil war

A top rebel commander appealed for peace talks with the Salvadoran government amid an intensive 10-day guerrilla offensive that has engulfed half the country in warfare.

In his radio broadcast, Jorge Melendez, commander of the rebel forces in northeastern Morazan, said the guerrillas share the objectives of liberal Army officers who overthrew the government in 1979, and introduced sweeping land and banking reforms. But he vowed the rebels will not end the war until those aims are achieved. US officials say the rebel offensive was not aimed at a decisive military victory, but rather at forcing the government to the bargaining table.

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