Maoist Guerrillas Bomb North Korean Trade Office
LIMA, Peru (AP) _ Leftist guerrillas seized the courtyard of the North Korean trade office Thursday and exploded a bomb at the front door that wounded two people, authorities reported.
″This is the style of the Shining Path″ guerrillas, said deputy Interior Minister Augustin Mantilla, who is in charge of the anti-insurgency police.
Last year, Mantilla arranged a low-cost purchase of 10,000 Soviet-designed assault rifles from North Korea that were used to improve the poorly equipped police force’s firepower against the insurgency.
The midmorning attack at the Representative Commercial Office of North Korea in the wealthy San Isidro residential district was the first attack on North Korean interests in the 7-year-old insurgency.
Shining Path, a Maoist organization, has been linked to bombings at dozens of embassies, including those of China and the Soviet Union.
A woman carrying the bomb in a briefcase, accompanied by two men with machine guns gained entry to the trade mission’s outer courtyard by ringing the gate bell and taking the employee who answered prisoner, police reported.
Bomb squad officers said an explosive device containing about 35 sticks of dynamite destroyed a heavy wooden gate, buckled the building’s steel front door and shattered windows in the two-story building and in homes across the street.
Police said the three attackers sped away in a waiting car after placing the bomb on the front steps.
The employee who held in the courtyard and another person inside the building suffered facial cuts from flying glass, said a police doctor who treated tham.
North Korea’s trade representative, Kim Shan Sik, lives and works in the building in an area of embassies three miles from downtown Lima.
A report by Radio Programas, Lima’s main news station, quoted police as saying a another large bomb was found near a busy downtown market Thursday and disarmed by members of the bomb squad.
Mantilla said he had just returned from a anti-rebel operation in the northern states of Libertad and Cajamarca, where Shining Path attacks have increased over the past year. He said 16 guerrillas had been killed so far in the sweep by 280 police and four air force helicopters.
Shining Path guerrillas began their revolt in the remote Andes highlands of Ayacucho state in 1980. The government says more than 10,000 police, rebels, soldiers and non-combatants have been killed.