Corsicans claim Bordeaux bomb

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Ajaccio (AP) - A Corsican separatist group yesterday claimed responsibility for a bomb that heavily damaged Bordeaux's town hall late on Saturday evening. The French Prime Minister, Alain Juppe, who is the mayor of the city, has vowed to dismantle the group.

The government is committed to fighting terrorising Corsicans with the same fervour used to dismantle a network of Islamic extremists which claimed responsibility for a series of bombings last year.

The Historic Wing of the Front for the National Liberation of Corsica, also known by its French acronym, FLNC, claimed responsibility for the the Bordeaux bomb in a communique which read: "Claim: attack city hall of Bordeaux 10/5/96. FLNC". No one was injured in the attack.

Mr Juppe's office ordered increased protection for "sensitive sites in Paris and several big cities", and yesterday vowed "to fight terrorism in all its forms in Corsica, as in any other part of the national territory, with the same determination as that used last year when our country was confronted with other terrorist violence".

The statement showed a tough new stance against violence by Corsican separatists, who have always spared lives in their campaign for independence. The attacks have, for the most part, been restricted to Corsica itself. But the bombing of Bordeaux town hall was by far the most spectacular attack on mainland France.