ISTANBUL, TURKEY, JAN. 23 -- Bombs exploded this morning at the offices of two U.S. organizations in Turkey and two banks in Lebanon in what appeared to be acts of terrorism sparked by Iraq's worldwide call for Moslems to attack the interests of the United States and its allies.
In Istanbul, one woman was slightly injured in a bomb blast that heavily damaged the offices of the American Board of Foreign Missions, an arm of the U.S.-based United Church of Christ, the Anatolia News Agency reported. Another blast 10 minutes later damaged the offices of the Turkish agent of ABS, an American shipping company.
One official at the foreign mission board told police that the bomb was left in the group's fourth-floor offices by three people who first disarmed a guard at the entrance, then bound and gagged several office employees.
An underground group called the Revolutionary Left later claimed responsibility for both blasts. The same group claimed to have bombed a NATO maintenance facility in Istanbul on Tuesday. The attackers reportedly left handbills protesting that the Turkish government is permitting U.S. jets to use bases in southern Turkey to bomb Iraq.
In Baalbek, Lebanon, a bomb exploded at the partly French-owned Fransabank, killing a guard and severely damaging the building, police said. Baalbek is a stronghold of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, a fundamentalist Shiite Moslem group that denounced Iraq's invasion of Kuwait but that also has condemned the presence of Western forces in the gulf region.
A second bomb heavily damaged the partly Saudi-owned Beirut-Riyadh Bank in Beirut, police said. No injuries were reported there.
In Washington, State Department spokesman Margaret Tutwiler said there had been no major terrorist acts directed against U.S. military or diplomatic facilities Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. However, she said that in Chile, two Mormon churches and two U.S.-run businesses -- Ford and Coca-Cola subsidiaries -- had been bombed. There were no injuries, she said.