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Public Papers - 1990 - January

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Attack on Religious Workers in Nicaragua


We deplore in the strongest terms this outrageous attack on religious workers and extend our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims. This is a tragic incident, one that further underscores the need to bring peace, stability, and democracy to Nicaragua.

The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua has been in contact with local church officials to obtain information, including the Sisters of St. Agnes and the Capuchin Fathers. We are providing counselor services for the victims of the attack. We have no information on who is responsible for this attack, and we note that the church officials themselves have no indication, either. Our Embassies in Honduras and Nicaragua are attempting to find out further details. The Nicaraguan Government has provided no information to substantiate its charge that the contras launched the attack, and we hope the Sandinistas do not seek to obscure this tragedy by engaging in a propaganda battle.

The Nicaraguan resistance has condemned the attack. Its military commander has stated that the mining region where the attack occurred is outside of his force's usual operating area. But he also emphasizes that he has no information on the attack.

Note: Press Secretary Fitzwater read the statement to reporters at 11:11 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.

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