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Panama Bands Stage Bloody Attack : Combat: Troops believed directed by Noriega hit downtown. Continued resistance mocks U.S. claims that situation is under control.

December 23, 1989|KENNETH FREED and MARJORIE MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITERS

Nunn and Warner said that there were diplomatic efforts by the United States and other countries to persuade Noriega to leave Panama with assurances that he would not be prosecuted on U.S. drug charges if he moved to a country that did not have an extradition treaty with the United States. However, Noriega rejected those attempts, which immediately preceded the invasion, the senators said.

"His psychology and neurotic condition didn't allow him to take heed," Warner said. "He pursued the resistant course that he had been following."

Warner said evidence also showed that Noriega was arming as many as 250 Dignity Battalion members to attack Americans in their living quarters.

President Bush flew to Camp David at mid-day after his morning speech to begin an 11-day holiday there and in Texas, where he plans to visit service personnel wounded in Panama who are being treated in military hospitals in San Antonio.

Times staff writer James Gerstenzang, in Washington, contributed to this story.

MILITARY ACTION IN PANAMA 1. David--PDF barracks hoists white flag of surrender.

2. Chiriqui--Panama Defense Forces (PDF) abandon some posts on frontier with Costa Rica after hearing reports U.S. forces would scour province in search for Noriega.

3. Colon--Fighting between U.S. forces, Noriega loyalists.

4. San Miguelito--Stubborn pocket of resistance by Noriega loyalists in San Miguelito, a working-class suburb of 200,000. There were rumors Noriega might be hiding out in Tinajitas garrison in San Miguelito district.

5. Carti, El Llano--U.S. helicopters rescue 11-member Smithsonian Institution research team from a jungle between Carti and El Llano.

1. Panama Canal Commission--Neighborhood attacked by Noriega loyalists.

2. U.S. Southern Command--Noriega loyalists attack U.S. Southern Command headquarters fromrailway tracks below heights; snipers reported in adjacent hills.

3. PDF headquarters--House-to-house search of neighborhood by U.S. forces looking for Noriega.

4. Ft. Amador--Raiders find drugs and witchcraft paraphernalia in Noriega's inner sanctum in Ft. Amador.

5. Legislative Assembly--Vice President Ricardo Arias Calderon is target of an assassination attempt after leaving Assembly building; Arias unhurt but 2 aides are injured.

6. Presidential Palace--Scattered gunfire continues in neighborhood of Presidential Palace.

OTHER STORIES, PICTURES: A2 to A18

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