Three Salvadoran congressmen killed in Guatemala

JOCOTILLO, Guatemala, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Assailants killed three Salvadoran congressmen, including the son of a civil-war era death squad chief, and left their charred bodies blazing on a Guatemalan back road, authorities said on Tuesday.

Eduardo D'Aubuisson, William Pichinte and Jose Ramon Gonzalez were deputies in the Guatemala-based regional Central American parliament from El Salvador's conservative ruling ARENA party. The remains of a fourth man were found with them.

Villagers discovered their bodies in a blazing car up a dirt track an hour's drive east of Guatemala City, Guatemalan Interior Minister Carlos Vielmann told reporters at the scene.

The deputies had gone missing during an overland trip to Guatemala from neighboring El Salvador. Vielmann said there was no doubt they had been murdered but that there were no clues yet about the motive or the identity of the assailants.

D'Aubuisson was the son of the late Roberto D'Aubuisson, an infamous 1980s death squad leader during El Salvador's civil war who went on to found ARENA. The fourth man found burned to death is thought to be the congressmen's driver.

Julio Rank, spokesman for El Salvador's President Tony Saca, said he doubted the killings were the work of highway robbers.

"You can see with your own eyes the vicious way these people were burnt," he told reporters as rescuers pulled blackened body parts from the car ditched among bushes up a chilly mountain lane. "This is a Dantesque scene."