News In Brief

Rebels cut electricity as Salvadoreans go to polls

Electricity remained knocked out across half of El Salvador Sunday as voting began in presidential elections overshadowed by civil war. Leftist guerrillas, who are boycotting the poll, blew up power pylons and cut transmission cables in coordinated sabotage from the northeast of the country to the far west.

The power cuts, the result of rebel attacks Saturday, caused considerable confusion and disarray as polls opened Sunday. Many voting stations were left without ballots, ballot boxes and, in some cases, electoral officials. The votes may take several days to count.

The rebels reportedly killed 32 government troops Saturday, inflicting the biggest single battle loss since December on the US-backed Salvadorean armed forces.

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