Stone denies saying ships aren't just for exercises

US special envoy Richard Stone denied reports quoting him as saying American warships dispatched to Central America were not sent purely for military exercises. Mr. Stone had been quoted by Salvadorean reporters as telling Salvadorean legislators the battleships could be used for an ''attack.''

Colombian President Belisario Betancur met with Mr. Stone Wednesday and relayed a message from left-wing guerrillas fighting El Salvador's US-backed government, with whom Stone hopes to meet. No details of the message were released.

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