PANAMA CITY, AUG. 7 -- Gunmen opened fire today on a business owned by the family of the president of the Panamanian Chamber of Commerce -- a leader of the nation's opposition movement, family members said.
The gunmen fired dozens of bullets through the front windows of Kubota S.A., an agricultural equipment sales company, they said. The company is owned by the father of Chamber of Commerce President Aurelio Barria.
Barria is a member of the National Civic Crusade, a group of more than 100 businessmen and professionals demanding the ouster of Panamanian strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega. The attack came a day after thousands of Panamanians demonstrated against Noriega at a downtown rally. Crusade leaders called for another general strike Aug. 17 to demand Noriega's ouster and full democracy in Panama.
"We will continue this fight until our basic demands are put on the table," opposition spokesman Fernando Boyd said.
Maj. Edgardo Lopez, a spokesman for Panama's Defense Forces, said the military would act as it had during an earlier strike called by the opposition July 27-28. Troops would patrol the city to protect businesses choosing to stay open during the strike, he said.
Lopez said he had no knowledge of the attack reported by Barria and rejected allegations that the attackers belonged to a paramilitary group.