Salvadoran guerrillas have announced an end to their six-week military offensive and declared themselves ready for new peace talks to end their 11-year-old war against the government.
In a broadcast late Friday by the clandestine rebel radio, the general command of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front said its cease-fire would take effect Monday morning.The rebels said they were prepared to resume peace talks aimed at ending the civil war that has claimed more than 73,000 lives and made a shambles of the economy in El Salvador, this Central American country of 5 million people.
The guerrillas promised to bring new proposals to their next meeting with the government and "if it abandons its intransigent positions, we could reach an agreement rapidly."
There was no immediate comment from the government.
The guerrillas claimed their military campaign, begun Nov. 20, had caused 1,190 army casualties, including dead and wounded.
Official statistics put the toll at more than 600 dead and 1,000 wounded, including soldiers, guerrillas and civilians.
Early this month, the rebels for the first time shot down two government planes with surface-to-air missiles. The attacks alarmed the Salvadoran government.