Dogs explode in Lima

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LIMA (AFP) - About 20 dogs with dynamite strapped to them exploded in the Peruvian capital over the weekend, police said. The 'dog bombs' are thought to herald a series of reprisals against local officials by Shining Path rebels.

The Maoist rebels have dubbed local union and community leaders 'dogs' and accused them of being government lackeys. More than 100 local leaders have been killed and police believe the dog bombs are a sign that the rebels plan a new offensive against popular organisations. The dogs were the only casualties of the explosions over the weekend.

When the Shining Path first appeared in 1980, it would hang dogs from Lima's lampposts with signs abusing China and rival Maoist groups in Peru.