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On the heels of a visit by US Vice-President Dan Quayle, El Salvador has said it will reopen an investigation into the massacre of 10 peasants. Mr. Quayle expressed US concern about growing political violence in El Salvador to the country's military high command in a meeting last Friday, and highlighted this case.

The new investigation will be conducted without the participation of the commander of the brigade accused of the killings, Salvadoran Army officials said.

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Col. Emilio Ch'avez C'aceres, commander of the 5th Army brigade in San Vicente Province, played a key role in the initial inquiry that absolved his soldiers of responsibility.

Last September, soldiers of the brigade's Jiboa Battalion rounded up residents of a small village they accused of collaborating with rebels. Ten were marched away, and shots were heard. Examinations later showed they had been killed by point-blank shots to the head.

The new investigation will be conducted by a panel of high-ranking military officers.

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