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Police Target ‘Los Macheteros’ in 1979 Deaths of U.S. Soldiers

Naval investigators are returning to Puerto Rico to find militants sought for their role in a long-unresolved case from a violent phase of the U.S. commonwealth's national movement.

The recent sentencing of Juan Galloza Acevedo, 78, has intensified the hunt for members of a group known as Los Macheteros for the 1979 attack on a bus carrying 17 sailors from a Navy base at Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico. The attack on the bus with machine guns and assault rifles killed two U.S. sailors and wounded 10. Galloza was sentenced to five years in prison for the minor role he played.

“We see potential for additional arrests,” said Special Agent Tim Quick of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The case was reopened after the Sept. 11 attack revived interest in suspected terrorists. At one point there were 13 suspects, four of whom have since died.

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--The Associated Press