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Rebels Take Responsibility for S. Africa Bomb

Associated Press

The main guerrilla group fighting apartheid claimed responsibility Wednesday for bombing an army medical office in Johannesburg, and for killing a policeman in the north of the country.

Seventeen people, four of them army personnel and the rest civilians, were wounded in Tuesday’s bombing, which the African National Congress said was carried out by its guerrillas as part of its struggle against white-minority rule.

The congress, outlawed in South Africa, said in a statement telexed from its office in Lusaka, Zambia, that the bombing here and the shooting of the policeman Monday in a black homeland northwest of Johannesburg were part of “the uprising presently engulfing the whole country.”

The military said Wednesday that it will not move its medical administration offices from the high-rise office building, which primarily houses civilian tenants. The spokesman, who was not identified under department policy, said the move would be too expensive. Because of the threat of bombings, building managers have become edgy about leasing office space to the government, the military in particular.

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Most government offices are scattered among civilian office complexes.

Guerrillas of the African National Congress have turned from occasionally bombing non-civilian targets to hitting those where civilians die alongside police, soldiers and government workers.

Oliver Tambo, the insurgents’ leader, said last year that the congress is involved in a more conventional war and he regretted that some civilians would have to die.

South Africa’s 5 million whites dominate and deny the vote to nearly 25 million blacks.

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