SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Gunmen stole, stripped and dynamited a U.S. Embassy armored car outside a movie theater in northwestern San Salvador and more than a dozen people were reported dead in the latest political violence.
In Washington, a group of Salvadoran businessmen rejected proposals by the Socialist International to mediate an end to El Salvador's virtual civil war, saying free elections are the nation's only solution.
'We categorically reject that the Socialist International stick its noses in our country,' said Juan Vicente Maldonado, director of El Salvador's National Association of Private Enterprise during a breakfast with journalists.
Calling for free elections to solve El Salvador's political, social and economic crisis, the group denied reports they are vying for a post on the ruling junta to diminish the power of its president Jose Napoleon Duarte.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Howard Lane said 'The (embassy) vehicle was stolen at gunpoint from the driver, who was alone at the time, in a residential area' in San Salvador.
Four hours later the armor-plated Jeep Cherokee was dynamited outside the Cine Zacamil movie theater in northwestern San Salvador after it had been stripped.
Junior Consular Officer Brian Wu was shot in the heel by Salvadoran security forces when he and some fellow embassy employees riiding a similar vehicle ran a roadblock in San Salvador in the spring of 1980, Lane said.
In another development, a foreign ministry spokesman said El Salvador considers the border region where troops reportedly invaded Honduran territory in dispute but will study a Honduran protest of the incursion.
El Salvador 'is studying' a diplomatic protest lodged Monday by Honduras complaining of an invasion into Honduras by Salvadoran soldiers backed by helicopters and warplanes, ministry spokesman Sigfrido Munes said.