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20 Injured as 2 Explosions Hit S. Africa Town

November 11, 1986|From Times Wire Services

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A bomb exploded in a trash can outside a courthouse today, and another explosion rocked a gaming arcade in the same mining town of Newcastle, the government said. A government spokesman said 20 people were injured.

Dr. Melle Briscoe, medical superintendent of a local hospital, said seven of those wounded were seriously injured..

"One person will probably need to have a leg amputated. The rest mainly have shrapnel wounds," he said.

The government initially reported only five injuries in the blasts, but later upped the casualty toll to seven and then 20.

Gaming Arcade Blast

Government spokesman Deon van Loggerenberger said two policemen and three other blacks were seriously injured in the blast at 3:10 p.m. outside a magistrate's court in Newcastle, 130 miles southeast of Johannesburg. He said the magistrate, a prosecutor and others inside the court building were slightly injured.

An explosion half an hour earlier hit a shop selling newspapers and stationery in a gaming arcade, he said.

Local newspaper employees said they heard the courthouse blast from more than a mile away, and one said he saw smoke pouring from the courthouse window. Police cordoned off the area, and reporters could not get near.

Structural Damage

The bureau said that "considerable structural damage" was done to the court building but that the arcade shop was not seriously damaged.

The explosions were the latest in a rash of urban guerrilla attacks since President Pieter W. Botha declared a national state of emergency in June to combat a revolt in black townships.

Four people have been killed and scores injured in the bombings, which the government has blamed on the outlawed African National Congress.

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