LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Talks to end Peru's hostage crisis have collapsed over rebel allegations that the government was digging a tunnel and planning a surprise attack even as it negotiated for a peaceful solution.

Nestor Cerpa, leader of the Tupac Amaru rebels holding 72 hostages at the Japanese ambassador's residence, accused police Thursday of digging a tunnel under the house and planning to attack it _ from above and below.

He said rebels in recent days have heard strange noises that they allege are from government attempts to burrow into the residence.

President Alberto Fujimori, in meetings today with his main negotiator in the hostage crisis, did not immediately comment on the claim.

Police Col. Frenan Zapata, in charge of security around the residence, was quoted by Radio Programa as saying it was ``an invention of the kidnappers.'' Peru's defense minister, Gen. Tomas Castillo Meza, called the claim a ``product of Cerpa's nervousness.''

But two Lima newspapers not only claimed to have evidence that the tunnel was there but also published maps of it Friday. A La Republica article reported that government vans were removing what appeared to be loads of dirt from a residence adjacent to the diplomatic compound.

Cerpa told WTN television by radio that rebels would not attend today's talks, the tenth round since negotiations began Feb. 11 and the first since both sides put their formal proposals on the table Wednesday. The rebels took the hostages in a Dec. 17 raid on a swank diplomatic reception and are demanding freedom for hundreds of their jailed comrades.

``We are not going to take part tomorrow,'' Cerpa said. ``There is a peaceful solution, negotiated, which the government is talking about, or a military solution. The country must clarify itself over this.

``We don't believe it is correct that on one hand dialogue is spoken of and on the other this type of thing goes on _ and we are not making it up.''

Cerpa also boycotted Monday's talks, protesting Fujimori's tour of the Dominican Republic and Cuba in search of countries that might offer the rebels exile. Peru reportedly is offering the rebels safe passage out of the country while refusing their key demand to release jailed comrades.

It had been rumored for some time that police had been tunneling _ playing music during the day to cover the noise of the excavation, removing the dirt at night _ and that the real reason TV cameramen were ordered from one nearby rooftop was so they could not see the activity.

There also had been unconfirmed reports of practice commando operations at military bases near Lima, including the use of helicopters and paratroopers and the digging of a duplicate, practice tunnel.

Cerpa said he has pointed out the digging sounds to hostages and planned to have intermediaries between the rebels and government listen as well.

Two guarantors of the peace talks, Canadian Ambassador Anthony Vincent and Roman Catholic Archbishop Juan Luis Cipriani, visited the residence for about an hour Thursday. The reason for their visit was not disclosed.

It was not clear when the rebels would return to the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, a newspaper reported Thursday that Japanese security officials who barred Peruvian police from the ambassador's residence share the blame for the rebel takeover.

La Republica paper said Peru's national police had 29 agents at the reception, but were told to limit their activities to traffic control because the Japanese had their own agents inside and did not want to alarm the guests with heavy security.

It said police documents show that the head of security for the embassy, Akihisa Ogiyama, gave the order. Ogiyama is one of the 72 hostages.

The report quoted Ogiyama as saying the compound's security was sufficient despite the guest list of 500. As many as 1,200 people eventually showed up, but hundreds had left before the takeover, including the American ambassador.