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Bomb Goes Off in Downtown Cape Town

January 28, 1999

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) _ A bomb exploded today outside a police station in the busy heart of Cape Town, injuring five people, police said.

It was the second bombing this year in the city, which has been plagued by a wave of blasts mainly in the slums. Police have blamed many of the attacks on a Muslim vigilante group.

One woman was seriously injured in the attack, said police spokeswoman Capt. Anine de Beer. The police station is near President Nelson Mandela’s offices and other government buildings.

Cars and the pavement outside the Caledon Square police station were damaged, de Beer said. There was no immediate information on what kind of bomb it was.

Earlier this month, police fired on radical Islamic protesters denouncing a visit by British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

One of the protesters was fatally wounded. Days later, gunmen killed a police official investigating the vigilante group, People Against Gangsterism and Drugs.

This year, a bomb inside a car went off on New Year’s Day on the Cape Town waterfront, a popular tourist site. Weeks earlier, a pipe bomb damaged a synagogue. A powerful blast at a Planet Hollywood restaurant in August killed two people.

Moderate Muslim leaders, police stations and crime suspects have all been targeted.

Police have made no arrests in the bombings. More than 80 blasts were reported last year, mainly in the Cape Flats slums, an area rife with gangs and drug dealing.

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