MIAMI, April 20, 1961 (UPI)-Seven persons, including one identified as a U.S. citizen, were executed by firing squads at dawn in Havana today, Radio Havana announced. It raised the number of executions for the past three days to 24. Radio Havana, in a broadcast monitored here, identified the American citizen as Rafael Diaz Bencom. Among those executed was Humberto Sori Marin, ex-agriculture minister in Premier Fidel Castro's cabinet.
It appeared Castro had rounded up all possible leaders of an uprising and was terrorizing Cubans with new executions to keep the populace quiet. Thousands were reported jailed. Among them was Martin Houseman, the second UPI correspondent to be arrested in Havana.
Despite Castro's iron grip, there was gunfire today in Havana. The Cuban radio said a girl was killed and another wounded by gunfire from a car near the intelligence service headquarters.
Eight persons were executed Tuesday and nine yesterday.
Nearly 700 have died before Castro's firing squads since he seized power in January 1959.
In the previous 58 years of Cuban history, only three persons had been legally executed.
Sori Marin fled in a small boat to Miami, but returned about three months later to Cuba. He said he was disillusioned with feuding among anti-Castro factions and believed he could do more in Cuba.
The broadcast said the men were executed for plotting to assassinate Castro.