Nicaragua Battles of Bullets and Dollars

The rebels score victories on and off the field

The details certainly sounded impressive. According to contra leaders, more than 4,000 U.S.-backed rebels crept for days through dense jungle to launch a fierce surprise attack on three mining towns in northeastern Nicaragua. In the hamlet of Siuna, the invaders routed 750 defenders, blew up an airfield and seized enough Soviet-made weapons to supply 1,000 troops. Their biggest coup was the destruction of a Soviet GCI radar unit that formed the heart of Sandinista air defenses for the region. Jubilant rebel leaders called the two- day assault the most successful offensive of the six-year civil war. "We hit them hard," claimed...

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