MANAGUA, Nicaragua — A rare shootout between police and an armed group that left 10 people dead in northern Nicaragua has fueled suspicions that guerrillas are forming to challenge President Daniel Ortega’s government.
Nicaraguan officials have called Wednesday’s confrontation in the town of Ayapal near the Honduran border little more than an attempted grocery store robbery gone bad. Ortega Chief of Staff Ana Isabel Morales said Wednesday the assailants were “criminals.”
Others disputed the official account. One of the country’s main human rights groups, as well as a former Ortega ally and a Roman Catholic bishop reportedly in touch with a guerrilla band said the bloodshed represented evidence of long-rumored insurgent activity.
“We can’t accept that there are 10 deaths in an attempted assault on a small town, it’s illogical,’ said Roberto Petray, director of the National Association for Human Rights. He said there were 12 members of an armed group under the ... Read More