At least two different groups of alleged rearmed contras are claiming credit for a fatal firefight with Nicaraguan security forces Saturday the rural area of San Pedro del Norte, in the municipality of Bocana de Paiwas, in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAS).
The first is shadowy self-professed contra group known as “CGN- 380,” which claims the attack was led by guerrilla leaders using the code names Noe, Enmanuel, Huracan, Moreno and Karate. According to a communiqué, the CGN-380 claim they killed five Nicaraguan soldiers and cops and injured eight more during a commando raid that lasted more than an hour. The group claims that three contra fighters were injured in the gun battle, which occurred in the small hours of Saturday morning.
The CGN-380 claims the attack was part of a “patriotic struggle and resistance against the narco-dictatorship of Ortega-Murillo,” as well as against the “military presence of Cuba, Russia and China in Nicaragua,” according to its communique.
The daily La Prensa reports that a second alleged contra group,The Armed Forces of National Salvation, also claimed responsibility for the attack. That group said that three soldiers were killed and “more than a dozen were injured.” According to La Prensa, the intent of the attack was to burn the local police station.
A spokesman for the Nicaraguan Army confirmed that one solider was killed in the firefight, but would not comment further, according to La Prensa. Nicaraguan officials insist the gun fight was with “delinquents” and not rearmed rebels. Nicaraguan authorities claim the gunfight was over local property disputes.
Still, the weekend attack is one of the few that Nicaraguan authorities have acknowledged. Other recent claims of contra attacks on rural outposts have gone unreported by the press and ignored by Nicaraguan authorities. The Nicaraguan Army did not respond to media requests for comment on reports from an alleged contra group known as the URN, which claims it killed four Nicaragua soldiers and injured eight others in a July 20 firefight in the mountains of Yalí, Jinotega. It remains unclear whether that attack really occurred.
Whoever was behind the Saturday morning attack in San Pedro del Norte, the group was apparently well-armed and ready for battle, according to local residents interviewed by La Prensa.