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Bombs Injure Macau Cops, Reporters

September 8, 1998

MACAU (AP) _ Two bombs blamed on gangsters exploded today in the Portuguese enclave of Macau, injuring four senior police officers and 10 journalists.

Witnesses said a police officer’s car exploded, then when police and journalists gathered at the scene, a bomb went off nearby in a parked motorcycle.

TV footage showed bloodied journalists and police screaming for help and running for cover in an alley, fearing another explosion. Police said the second bomb was believed to have been detonated by remote control.

The police officers and eight of the injured journalists were hospitalized in stable condition today. The other journalists were treated and released.

Police said they were searching for two men, both aged 30.

A wave of gangland-style shooting deaths, arson attacks and other violence _ many targeting government officials _ recently has shaken Macau, 40 miles west of Hong Kong. Three government officials, including a gambling inspector, have been killed since March.

Police have said they believe the violence is linked to gang wars over gambling profits that have been shrinking because of Asia’s economic slump.

Today’s bombings were the first to involve journalists.

Undersecretary for Security, Brig. Manuel Monge, described the bombings as an ``act of intimidation″ by gang members, and said Macau’s police would ``double their work in defense of the population and the territory’s stability.″

Macau, which is home to 450,000 people, is a popular tourist and gambling enclave governed by Portugal at the tip of southern China. It will revert to Chinese rule in December 1999.

Update hourly