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SALVADOR REBELS LEAVE CITY; CHURCH WORKER REMAINS IN CUSTODY

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Leftist rebels left the capital relatively peaceful Saturday following a week of hit-and-run attacks, and an American church worker remained in the custody of Salvadoran security forces after his unexplained arrest.

A spokesman for the Salvadoran National Police acknowledged that authorities Thursday detained Scott Wright, a 39-year-old pastoral worker for a Roman Catholic parish. U.S. Embassy spokesman Barry Jacobs said it was unclear why Wright was detained and officials were working to have him freed."We have seen him and we are trying to get him out," Jacobs said.

Wright, who has been with the church for 10 years, works in the Santo Domingo Parish in the Credisa area of the capital, said his brother, Dr. Gregg Wright, the director of the Nebraska Department of Health in Lincoln, Neb. Wright had devoted his life to working with the poor, his brother said.

Before moving to El Salvador, Wright worked in refugee camps in Honduras with Salvadorans driven across the river by the fighting.

The Salvadoran office of Americas Watch, a human rights watchdog group, said Wright was arrested Nov. 30 along with three Salvadorans and a Spanish priest. Dr. Wright said his brother's friends identified the priest as the Rev. Carlos Diaz and said the three Salvadorans also were church workers.

At least 18 foreign church workers, six of them Americans, have been arrested since rebels of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front launched a military offensive against the government Nov. 11. All were released after short detentions, most on the condition they leave El Salvador.

The armed forces reported scattered fighting before dawn Saturday in San Salvador's eastern suburb of Soyapango, but government troops quickly brought the situation under control, killing six leftist rebels and wounding 10 others.

Rebels of the FMLN kept the city on edge most of the week, attacking northern, western and eastern neighborhoods. President Alfredo Cristiani said Friday he hoped this weekend's superpower summit in Malta would lead to a cutoff in arms supplies to the guerrillas.

Cristiani said the Soviet Union could "turn the key" that would stop the flow of weapons from Cuba and Nicaragua to the FMLN.

The president also said during the conference that he believed the rebels would step up a campaign of assassination and terror that has led to the evacuation of hundreds of U.S. citizens from the country.

He admitted the 55,000-strong, U.S.-backed army was having difficulties preventing attacks by the FMLN rebels, and said he understood the urge of many Americans and Salvadorans to leave San Salvador.