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18 killed by 1,000lb car bomb in Lima

LONDON - At least 18 people were killed when a massive car bomb exploded in a residential street of the Lima suburb of Miraflores, writes Colin Harding.

Police blamed the blast, the worst in the Peruvian capital in 12 years of civil conflict, on the Maoist Shining Path organisation, which has begun to target residential areas in recent months. The bomb, consisting of 1,000lb of dynamite, went off outside an apartment building belonging to the Economy Minister, Carlos Bolona, according to sources. It devastated a wide area, damaging several high-rise buildings, including a five-star hotel, and injured dozens of people. Up to 100 guerrillas attacked police stations and other targets in the capital at the same time, while another car bomb wrecked a police station shortly afterwards, injuring nine people.

President Alberto Fujimori, who assumed special powers in an April palace coup, decreed a night-time curfew on vehicles on 10 June in an attempt to curb car bomb attacks, which have killed 20 people in recent weeks. At least 26,000 have died since 'Shining path' launched a 'peoples war' in 1980.