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Bomb Wounds 5 in Geneva

November 18, 1988

GENEVA (AP) _ A bomb exploded in a trash basket at the beginning of rush hour Friday, wounding five pedestrians outside a building that houses the Soviet airline Aeroflot and several banks, police reported.

They said three of the victims were in serious condition.

Two French nationals, two American tourists and an Italian resident of Geneva were hospitalized after the explosion at 4:20 p.m. Their identities were withheld pending notification of relatives.

A 59-year-old American had serious leg injuries and burns and the other American, a 22-year-old woman, was released after treatment of ear problems, police reported.

Police spokesman Marcel Vaudroz said there was no immediate indication of the bomb’s target and authorities were preparing a composite portrait of a person seen earlier near the wire basket, which was mounted on a lightpost.

Vaudroz said security measures were increased after the explosion, but would not elaborate.

The Federal Prosecutor’s Office, which has jurisdiction over crimes involving explosives, also was investigating.

An anonymous caller to a television station in Geneva about three hours later claimed responsibility in the name of the ″Socialist Nationalist Front.″ The caller said communists, capitalists and Jews were the target, the station reported on its nightly newscast.

Vaudroz said police had not heard of the organization and indicated they questioned the claim’s validity. He said explosives experts were examining the ″pulverized″ remains of the bomb.

The blast shattered the front window of the Aeroflot office on Quai du Mont Blanc, but an Aeroflot employee said no one inside was hurt.

Police closed off the area for several hours, causing traffic problems throughout the city.

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