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Nicaragua rebels regroup in hopes of broader action

CIA-funded Nicaraguan rebels announced a purge of their top ranks that could lead to a coordinated effort against the Sandinista regime with insurgents based in Costa Rica.

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Domingo Edgar Chamorro, leader of the Honduras-based Nicaraguan Democratic Force, or FDN, said Sunday the FDN leadership had been ''cleansed'' of former members of the national guard under the late dictator Anastasio Somoza.

The announcement appeared to fulfill requirements for an alliance of the FDN with the Democratic Revolutionary Alliance led by former Sandinista Eden Pastora. The FDN's ranks have increased to 7,000 fighters with the help of a reported $55 million in covert CIA aid in the last two years. Mr. Pastora has some 4,000 armed insurgents.

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