January 6, 1997 in Nation/World

As Peruvian Crisis Drags On, Archbishop Visits, Hostages Sing

Compiled From Wire Services

Hostages sang religious songs Sunday in an apparent attempt to keep up their spirits after nearly three weeks of captivity in a diplomatic mansion seized by leftist rebels.

There was no sign of progress in the standoff Sunday even though intermediaries visited the Japanese ambassador’s residence, where 74 men remain captive.

Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani entered the residence Sunday, apparently to celebrate Mass as he had done late Saturday. A Red Cross official accompanied him.

Religious and traditional Peruvian songs could be heard coming from the second floor of the whitewashed mansion, where the windows have been barricaded with chairs and tables.

Saturday night, a popular television comedy program broadcast an appeal by a young girl for the crisis to end. Former hostages have said the rebels have been watching television, but it is not known whether they saw the broadcast.

“In the name of all the children of Peru, I ask you to let all these men go free,” said the girl, who did not identify herself.

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