SAN SALVADOR — Three bombs exploded Friday in the master bedroom and dining room of El Salvador's Vice President-elect Francisco Merino's home, slightly injuring a child and causing extensive damage, police said.
Merino and his wife have been visiting the United States and were not home at the time of the pre-dawn bombing. But the couple's four young children and three friends were sleeping in the house, which is located in an affluent suburb of the capital. The injured girl, who was cut by a piece of debris, is a friend of Merino's children.
Seven or eight men raced up in two cars, lobbed 2 1/2-pound blocks of TNT over a wall surrounding the garden, and sped away, a police officer quoted witnesses as saying. Three bombs exploded and the other was deactivated later, he said.
President-elect Alfredo Cristiani blamed the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front when he visited the house after the attack.
However, an anonymous caller told a radio station the rebels had nothing to do with the attack "even though Merino is one of those who is promoting terror, repression and slaughter of our people, and we consider that he deserves this and much more."
Cristiani and Merino, of the rightist Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena), were elected March 19. They take office June 1 from Christian Democratic President Jose Napoleon Duarte.
The Marxist-led insurgents have fought nine years against the U.S.-backed government. In recent weeks, the insurgents have targeted several factories and businesses owned by Arena supporters for sabotage attacks.
Merino is a close associate of reputed death squad chieftain and top Arena leader, Roberto D'Aubuisson.