Nicaragua ordered the expulsion of three American diplomats, accusing them of trying to destabilize the leftist Sandinista government by means including assassination of top officials.
Linda M. Pfeifel, a political affairs official; David Noble Greig, first secretary; and Ermila Loreta Rodriguez, second secretary, were all declared persona non grata, the Foreign Ministry announced. The US State Department protested the expulsions and hinted it would retaliate.
Earlier, the government radio reported renewed heavy fighting between rebels and Nicaraguan troops. Voice of Nicaragua said 600 Honduran-based guerrillas backed by covering fire from Honduran artillery engaged Nicaraguan troops a mile inside Nicaragua's Nueva Segovia border province. The radio said it was the biggest rebel attack in two weeks.