PANAMA CITY, OCT. 8 -- Panamanian riot police arrested 10 Americans, nine of them U.S. servicemen, and five Panamanian civilians, including the son of a prominent opposition figure, police and a progovernment newspaper said today.

Col. Leonidas Macias, Panama's police chief, confirmed that the arrests took place last night. He said the nine soldiers were turned over to U.S. authorities early today, but refused to give further details.

{In Washington, a State Department spokesman said the servicemen, who were wearing civilian clothes, were picked up by riot police "patrolling in the wake of demonstration activity." They were released 11 hours later, after being held incommunicado for six hours, he said. The United States "has taken up the issue with the Panamanian government," he said.

{A statement by the U.S. Southern Command in Panama said eight of the servicemen -- five Air Force and three Navy personnel -- were visiting the country on temporary duty and staying in a hotel in downtown Panama City. They were picked up while walking near their hotel, the statement said. The ninth serviceman was an Air Force sergeant assigned to the Southern Command who was riding his motorcycle at the time of his arrest, it said.}

Macias did not say if the American civilian, an employe of the joint U.S.-Panamanian commission that administers the Panama Canal, was turned over to U.S. authorities.

Witnesses said the opposition to the military-dominated government tried to organize a demonstration last night after President Eric Arturo Delvalle addressed the nation on television.

Delvalle warned in the speech that he will not tolerate further antigovernment demonstrations, which have been occurring in the capital off-and-on since early June.

Macias said the five Panamanians were charged with disorderly conduct and sentenced last night to 180 days in prison.

The progovernment newspaper Critica identified the Panamanians as four businessmen and Jose Guillermo Lewis Navarro, son of former ambassador to the United States Gabriel Lewis Galindo.

{In Washington, Lewis claimed that his son was arrested when police searched his car at a roadblock and found two white handkerchiefs in his glove compartment. The opposition waves white handkerchiefs during antigovernment demonstrations. Lewis is conducting a campaign in Washington for the ouster of Panama's strongman, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.

{"By (arresting) American servicemen, (Noriega) is attempting to claim that the American government is a source of the opposition in Panama," Lewis said in an interview.

{"The cowardly and unjust imprisonment of my son, and other innocent citizens, is designed to frighten me and others who criticize the government," Lewis said. "We fear for his life."}

Minutes after Delvalle's speech, security agents stopped cars at random downtown and arrested anyone carrying weapons or flying a white flag from radio antennas.

The newspaper and Macias claimed that the 10 Americans and five Panamanians who were arrested were inciting people to violence.