Rebels hit key air base in Salvadorean capital

Insurgents attacked a strategic air force base in the capital and claimed to have killed 93 government soldiers in a 10-day-old winter offensive to topple El Salvador's US-backed regime.

Rebels claim to hold at least 19 towns in nearby Chalatenango Province where troops have retreated to two main garrisons, field commanders report. The New York Times quoted Salvadorean political leader Ruben Zamora Thursday saying in Washington that the guerrilla war had entered a ''new cycle'' and would soon engulf the central and southern parts of the country.

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