Defiant Peruvians ignore strike call

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The Independent Online
LIMA (Reuter) - Shining Path guerrillas detonated bombs around Lima yesterday to enforce the second day of a two-day 'armed strike'. But many Peruvians defied the violence and, despite a lack of buses, struggled to work on the backs of trucks, in cars, on bicycles or on foot.

At least four bombs rocked the city, injuring dozens. One blew out windows in the National Museum, the home of priceless pre- Inca art works, but there were no reports of deaths.

The wave of violence which has killed around 30 in the last week forced President Alberto Fujimori to cancel his trip to an Ibero- American summit which began in Madrid yesterday, and to seek ways of stepping up the fight against the Maoist insurgents. In a decree published on Wednesday, Mr Fujimori put all anti-insurgency forces under a single co- ordinating committee.

Wednesday's violence, which included attacks on schools and public transport, killed at least three, including a taxi driver burnt to death in his car, newspapers reported. Several children were also hurt when a bicycle loaded with dynamite exploded at their school.

Mr Fujimori has come under growing pressure to take tough steps after last Thursday's car bomb in the central district of Miraflores, which killed more than 20. Shining Path has intensified its war since Mr Fujimori's seizure of power in April.