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CIA spokeswoman denies CIA-'death squad' link

The CIA responded Tuesday to an article in The Christian Science Monitor which charged that the CIA and US military advisers ''have helped organize and have financed, trained, and advised special Salvadorean Army and intelligence units which, although presumably set up for counterintelligence purposes, subsequently have engaged in 'death squad' activities.''

CIA spokeswoman Patricia Volz commented: ''The CIA does not promote by instruction or any other means murder or the use of torture. To say we have condoned death-squad activity is wrong. It's outrageous.''

The Monitor article, which appeared Tuesday, quoted two well-informed Salvadorean sources ''closely connected with the upper reaches of the Salvadorean political and military power structure'' as saying that the Salvadorean units ''frequently torture and sometimes kill'' Salvadorean citizens - apparently with the knowledge of their US mentors.

The CIA's Ms. Volz declined to respond to the charge that US instructors knew that Salvadorean intelligence personnel engaged in torture or murder.

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