Leftist guerrillas continued to hold 100 hostages Sunday in this eastern Honduran city following their dramatic attack on the Chamber of Congress building last Friday.
Monitor correspondent James Nelson Goodsell writes that the incident was apparently sparked by the Honduran army's capture of Salvadoran guerrilla commander Alejandro Montenegro and eight other Salvadorans last August.
The guerrillas, who call themselves Grupo Cinchonero, are demanding the release of Mr. Montenegro and the other Salvadorans as their main demand for the release of the hostages here, who include Honduran Economy Minister Gustavo Alfaro, Treasury Minister Arturo Corleto, and Central Bank President Gonzalo Carias.
Originally, it was thought there were 120 hostages, but Saturday 14 were set free and an additional 6 escaped. Those set free were all Chamber of Commerce employees.
This latest incident suggests that the guerrillas are getting stronger, according to army sources. To have seized the Chamber of Commerce building here in Honduras' second most important city required ''considerable daring, and suggests just how strong they have become,'' said Army Colonel Hugo Mendez, an officer in the Honduran Army's Third Corps based here.