The following by Associated Press writer Alejandro Ruiz reports on what happened in El Bosque on June 10, 1998.

The Associated Press

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, Mexico (AP) - In the two years that the peace process has been frozen, the war in Chiapas essentially has been carried out by proxy: Zapatista rebels and government troops haven't fought, but their
supporters repeatedly have clashed.

That changed Wednesday when government forces tried to retake control of El
Bosque, a municipality 25 miles north of San Cristobal that is sympathetic to

Nine people were killed including six fighters believed to be Zapatistas and
one police officer. No information was available about the other two victims,
whose deaths were announced late Wednesday by Gov. Roberto Albores Guillen.

Earlier, nine people were reported injured, including seven police officers.
Fifty-two people were arrested.

It was one of the deadliest clashes since Zapatista rebels launched a brief
uprising in January 1994 in the name of Indian rights and greater democracy.

A partial peace accord was signed in 1996, but peace talks have broken down
and tension has been rising. Supporters of both the Zapatistas and the
government repeatedly have attacked one another. In December, pro-government
paramilitaries killed 45 people in Acteal, a hamlet of Zapatista supporters.

In recent months, the government has stepped up pressure. It has expelled
foreigners seen as sympathizing with Zapatistas, accusing them of meddling in

It also has raided self-declared rebel municipalities - largely symbolic
parallel governments set up by Zapatista supporters. Those raids hadn't
resulted in any deaths - until Wednesday's fighting in El Bosque.

Zapatista sympathizers had set up a rebel town council there 2 1/2 years ago.
Members of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party had their own council
at a house nearby and the two appeared to coexist peacefully.

The state government said in a statement the raid was intended to capture
criminal suspects and restore order to the area following violence in recent

Zapatista supporters said in a statement that security forces entered two
communities in the municipality, Union Progreso and Chabajebal, firing guns,
destroying houses and chasing after villagers. The government said its forces
were responding to shots fired against them.

Most of the fighting was in Chabajebal, where police said fighters wearing the
ski masks used by Zapatista rebels opened fire on them with automatic weapons, killing one officer and wounding four. The six presumed rebels also were
killed in Chabajebal. The government said five of them wore military-style
uniforms similar to those of the Zapatistas.

By late Wednesday, officials said the communities were under government

Thanks to AP for the fair educational use of this article.
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