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13 HOSTAGES ARE TAKEN IN RIGHTS PROTEST

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Twenty relatives of political prisoners and "disappeared" people held 13 hostages at the Costa Rican Embassy to protest repression by the rightist government but said they would leave Friday.

The group, the Federation of Committees of Mothers and Relatives of Political Prisoners, initially took 16 hostages when they stormed the embassy compound Thursday.But Ambassador Jesus Fernandez was taken from the embassy in an ambulance later in the day and two other diplomats were allowed to leave the offices.

Fernandez, who had heart bypass surgery two months ago, appeared to be breathing with difficulty as he left the building. He was taken to a hospital and then sent home, the ambassador's wife, Janine, said.

The 20 human rights activists, who were mostly women, allowed Consul-General Humberto Murillo and First Secretary Rene Aldama to leave the third-floor offices to talk to Fernandez's wife through the back gate.

The consul said four women and nine men were still being held. Also in the offices but not being held hostage early Friday were four journalists, three of them Americans.

A spokeswoman for the group said on condition of anonymity that the activists would leave the embassy Friday.

The action was to draw attention to alleged human rights violations under the rightist government that took power June 1 and to pressure the administration "to take concrete measures" to end the decade-old civil war, the spokeswoman said.