Central America: Stung by a Wasp's Nest

El Salvador guerrillas hold off an airborne assault as the fighting gets hot

The fighting between El Salvador's 15,000-man army and some 4,000 to 6,000 Marxist-led guerrillas is growing bloodier. Neither side can score a decisive victory, but the guerrillas are increasingly able to launch strikes in the countryside and defend themselves skillfully under attack.

In one of the war's harshest engagements to date, 1,500 government soldiers swarmed around the rugged, inactive volcano of Guazapa last week, about 15 miles from the country's capital of San Salvador. They pounded the area with heavy artillery, while support aircraft rained down phosphorous bombs and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!