2 bombs explode, 2 others disarmed in Johannesburg

May 18, 1991|By Jerelyn Eddings | Jerelyn Eddings,Johannesburg Bureau of The Sun

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Two bombs exploded in Johannesburg and two others were disarmed, including one outside police headquarters, in the latest terrorist campaign to hit the city, police said yesterday.

No one took responsibility for the bombings, in which 11 people were injured, and police said they had no indication who was responsible.

"We deplore the attacks on these civilian targets in the strongest terms possible," said Capt. Eugene Opperman, a police spokesman.

He described the bombs used in each incident as limpet mines, but added, "The old weapons which we referred to as terrorist weapons are now available to anyone, especially in the black townships."

He said he did not know whether the bombers were black or white.

The first bomb exploded late Thursday at a popular restaurant in the densely populated, racially mixed neighborhood of Hillbrow.

Early yesterday, police discovered and disarmed bombs outside a downtown bank and across the street from John Vorster Square, where police headquarters is located. Another bomb went off in the afternoon at a downtown office and shopping complex, Tony Factor's Intown Center.

The bombings came one day after Nelson Mandela, deputy president of the African National Congress, warned that violence would spread to white areas if police did not stop the violence plaguing black townships.

A spokesman for the ANC denied any knowledge of the bombing, saying the anti-apartheid organization had suspended its guerrilla campaign last year.

The left-wing Pan Africanist Congress also denied any involvement in the bombings.

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