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Group Claims Corsica Bombings

December 1, 1999

AJACCIO, Corsica (AP) _ A previously unknown group claimed responsibility Tuesday for two bombings last week on this troubled French island in the Mediterranean, and warned that it would carry out more violence in France.

A group calling itself Clandestinu said it set off the bombs Thursday that injured 13 people in the capital of Ajaccio, according to a one-page document sent to France-3 television and a Corsican radio station. The bombs damaged the Social Security offices and Transport Department facilities.

The group said its goal was to ``occupy the military terrain to force the French state to seek a political settlement to the Corsican question.″

``If a sign of an opening isn’t quickly forthcoming, we will be obliged to strike French soil,″ the statement said.

Corsica is part of France, but numerous nationalist groups have sought for greater autonomy for the craggy island for nearly a quarter-century. Their tactics usually involve middle-of-the-night bombings or brief kidnappings.

The latest bombings were larger than most of their past acts.

Clandestinu expressed regret for the injuries.

Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has insisted that there can be no dialogue until violence is halted.

However, hours before the statement was delivered, Jospin asked Corsican elected officials to meet with him in Paris ``as soon as possible.″ Among those who would participate are those from Corsica Nazione, a nationalist party.

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