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US diplomats were in contact with Civilian Military Action

The State Department acknowledges that US American embassies in El Salvador and Honduras had contacts with a private American group that apparently provided military equipment to Honduran-based Nicaraguan rebels and the Salvadoran Army. At the same time, it reaffired that the group had no connection with the US government.

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The group, known as Civilian Military Action, claims more than 1,000 members, mostly in Southern states. Its activities became known after two of its members were killed while flying a helicopter mission into Nicaragua last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats will try to rein in construction of US-built bases in Honduras this week. Sen. James Sasser (D) of Tennessee says he will press for an amendment to an $8.5 billion military-construction appropriation bill which would bar spending any of the money for design or construction of permanent military bases in that country.

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