Guerrillas Set Off 18 Bombs in Lima; 11 Die in Other Rebel Violence
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Leftist guerrillas threw dynamite from speeding cars at the U.S Embassy and other foreign missions, government offices and local headquarters of the governing party in the capital, police said Saturday.
No one was reported hurt in Friday night’s coordinated bombings, which capped three days of rebel attacks in mountain and jungle provinces that killed 11 people, according to official reports.
The head of the Investigative Police anti-terrorism squad, Gen. Fernando Reyes Roca, told a news conference that as the dynamite exploded, flaming hammer-and-sickle signs were lit on two hillsides overlooking Lima.
The hammer-and-sickle is the symbol of the Maoist-oriented Shining Path movement, which has been fighting a guerrilla war for nearly six years to topple Peru’s democratically elected governments and ignite a peasant uprising.
Reyes Roca said the rebels bombed the embassies of the United States, West Germany, India, Spain, and Argentina; the Lima bureau of the Chinese news agency Xinhua, and two offices of President Alan Garcia’s Aprista Party.
He said a bomb blew a small chunk of sidewalk from in front of the U.S. Embassy building.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Joe Reap said no Americans were reported hurt.
Reyes Roca said guerrillas dynamited two government offices, the Investigative Police robbery division, a cultural center in a Lima slum, and a power pylon south of this city of 6 million people.
Most attacks took place between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., but Reyes Roca said rebels attacked two Aprista offices in Lima at 6 a.m. Saturday and police gravely wounded one rebel and arrested another at one of the bombings.
Reyes Roca said Friday night that rebels attacked Aprista offices in the southern city of Arequipa and the northern cities of Jaen and Trujillo, where the party was founded.
Reporters in Trujillo, 335 miles north of Lima, said bombs extensively damaged the building but hurt no one. Police reported two arrests.
The violence in Lima was the heaviest since Garcia declared a state of emergency and a 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. curfew for Lima and its port Callao on Feb. 7 in a bid to suppress a terrorist wave that began in mid-January.
Police in the provincial capital of Ayacucho said guerrillas Thursday night assassinated the Aprista mayor of Huancaraylla, 90 miles south of Ayacucho.
Officals said the Ayacucho area was blacked out briefly Friday night when rebels dynamited two electricity towers in the insurgency zone high in the Andes, 345 miles southeast of Lima.
The Armed Forces Joint Command said three guerrillas were killed and a soldier was wounded Thursday in a clash in the jungles of Huanuco province northeast of Lima.
More than 5,000 civilians, rebels, and members of the security forces have been killed since the beginning of the Shining Path insurgency.