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Violence Won’t Keep Pope From Visiting

Fri., Feb. 2, 1996

A leading Roman Catholic prelate said Thursday that recent outbursts of violence will not deter Pope John Paul II from visiting Nicaragua on his regional tour next week.

Cardinal Miguel Obando y Bravo said the violence - much of it blamed on the leftist Sandinista opposition - apparently was aimed at creating disquiet and keeping the pontiff from coming Feb. 7.

On Tuesday, 150 armed students seized the Foreign Ministry building in Managua, held Foreign Minister Ernesto Leal and the ambassadors from Pakistan and the Philippines prisoner along with dozens of visitors.

They freed the diplomats and most of the captives seven hours later and Leal the next day, after riot police stormed the building and arrested 107 of the protesters.

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