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S. Africa Blasts Hurt Over 20 at Courts, Arcade

November 12, 1986|Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — More than 20 people were reported injured Tuesday when two explosive devices, one outside a courthouse and another at a shopping arcade, exploded in the mining town of Newcastle, the government said.

Dr. Melli Briscoe, medical supervisor at Newcastle Provincial Hospital, said 20 blacks were admitted after a bomb exploded in a trash can near the courthouse, in Natal province 130 miles southeast of Johannesburg. Two were in critical condition and seven others were seriously wounded, he said.

Two of the 20, with head injuries and shrapnel wounds, were transferred to a hospital in the nearby KwaZulu black homeland, said a spokesman there, who was quoted anonymously by the South African Press Assn.

Two Officers Wounded

Two South African police officers were among those seriously hurt at the courthouse, which sustained some damage, said Deon van Loggerenberger of the government's Bureau of Information in Pretoria. He said the magistrate and a prosecutor were slightly injured.

Half an hour earlier, Van Loggerenberger said, an explosion at a newspaper-and-stationery shop in the Game Discount World shopping arcade injured a black woman and a white woman. The explosion did not seriously damage the shop, the bureau said.

The Bureau of Information report sent to news agencies described the courthouse explosion as a bomb but also said, "The cause of the explosions has not yet been established." Van Loggerenberger said police used the term "explosive devices."

More than 30 bombs and land mines have exploded throughout South Africa since a national state of emergency was declared June 12. The explosions before Tuesday had injured 183 people of all races and killed 14.

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