MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Rebels in a speedboat used rockets and machine guns to attack a fuel dock late Wednesday and again early Thursday in the third strike against a Nicaraguan port in as many days, witnesses said.
The attempt to blow up a fuel tank at San Juan del Sur, 70 miles southeast of Managua, came as a Panamanian-registered cargo ship reportedly hit a mine planted by guerrillas in the Pacific port of Corinto. It was the second foreign ship to hit a mine in the port in a week.
San Juan del Sur residents said a speedboat twice entered the port firing rockets and machine guns at the dock -- once at 11 p.m. Wednesday and again at 4 a.m. Thursday.
The craft was believed to be carrying rebels of the Costa Rican-based Revolutionary Democratic Alliance, or ARDE, one of three guerrilla groups battling the Marxist-led Sandinista government.
San Juan del Sur is just 15 miles from the Costa Rican border.
There was no official report on the attack, but a port employee said there were no injuries and that the gunmen did not hit the fuel reserves.
On Wednesday, rebels in speedboats fired cannons and machine guns at army installations at Montelimar, some 54 miles southwest of Managua on the Pacific coast.
Military sources said that on Tuesday, insurgents of the same rebel group, backed by Honduran troops, hit Santo Tomas del Norte, some 180 miles northeast of Managua in Chinandega province.
No injuries were reported in either raid.
The ship 'Los Caribes' hit a mine Wednesday night as it was leaving Nicaragua's principal Pacific port, 70 miles northwest of Managua, said an employee for the boat's agent, Vassalli Co. Ltd.
'We know that it hit a mine,' the employee told United Press International, adding that there were no injuries.
It was not clear how much damage the vessel had suffered, and agents for the company in Managua said they could not comment on the incident.
The ship, according to shipping industry catalogues, is owned by a group of governments -- Mexico, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Cuba, Jamaica and Nicaragua -- who formed a company in 1975 to transport oil and other products throught the region.
It was the second time in less than a month a ship has hit an ARDE-planted mine in Corinto.
On March 1, a Dutch dredging ship, the Geopotes VI, hit a mine some 4 miles from the port, suffering heavy damage to its hull. Four people aboard were slightly injured.
ARDE rebels claimed they mined the port Feb. 29.
After each incident, Nicaragua wrote letters to the U.S. State Department protesting that the Reagan administration and its rebel allies are trying to establish a 'military blockade' against Nicaragua.