Peru Massacre Victims Found 21 Years Later

AYACUCHO, Peru -- Authorities unearthed the bullet-ridden remains of 15 peasants killed by soldiers after the lone survivor of the massacre came forward after two decades of silence, officials said Saturday.

The witness led a prosecutor and a forensic team to the bodies last month near the village of Totos, 200 miles southeast of Lima, the capital, chief forensic investigator Luis Castillejo said.

He said the survivor, whose identity was withheld, told authorities he was one of 16 people brought to a nearby military post on May 28, 1983, for questioning about reports that Shining Path rebels were in the area.

The witness escaped and watched from a hiding place as his companions were forced to dig their own graves before they were gunned down, Castillejo said. The bodies showed signs of torture.

Last year, a government-appointed Truth and Reconciliation Commission reported that nearly 70,000 people were killed between 1980 and 2000 by rebels and military forces sent to crush them.


* KINSHASA, Congo -- Gunmen ambushed U.N. military observers in eastern Congo, killing one peacekeeper and slightly wounding another, a U.N. spokesman said. Two other observers escaped unharmed. The observers were leaving the town of Kalehe, about 30 miles north of Bukavu, when armed men in uniform opened fire on their vehicle around dawn, said Sebastien Lapierre, a U.N. spokesman. The observers were evacuating the town after two days of fighting between rival Congolese army factions that left at least 12 fighters and civilians dead and 25 wounded.

* BUJUMBURA, Burundi -- Government forces clashed with rebels in recent days, leaving 12 rebels and one soldier dead, an army spokesman said. A decade of civil war between Hutu rebels and the minority Tutsi-dominated government has claimed about 300,000 lives.


* KATMANDU, Nepal -- An explosion ripped through a bus in Nepal's capital, injuring at least 21 people on Sunday, police and witnesses said. Police blamed the blast in Katmandu on communist insurgents. The attack comes two days before a transport strike called by rebels, who have been fighting since 1996 to abolish the monarchy.


* GUADALAJARA, Mexico -- A summit of Latin American and European leaders ended Saturday with Mexico's promise to work for lower oil prices, but with little progress on trade because of Europe's refusal to discuss agricultural subsidies. Europeans agreed to extend tariff preferences for Andean nations for a decade, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said.


* CHALOUS, Iran -- A helicopter taking a governor and his entourage from the site of a deadly earthquake crashed in the mountains of northern Iran, killing everyone on board, official Tehran television reported. The crash came as army helicopters ferried rescue teams to mountain villages in northern and central Iran cut off by landslides caused by Friday's quake, in which at least 35 people were killed and 250 were injured. Those killed in the helicopter crash included Masoud Emami, the governor of Qazvin province, three aides and a journalist working for Iran's state-run television, the report said.

* TEHRAN -- Conservative party leader Gholamali Haddad-Adel, whose daughter is married to a son of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was elected parliament speaker following elections in which hundreds of reformist candidates were barred from running. He was the first non-cleric since the 1979 Islamic revolution to hold the position, and he heads the Islamic Iran Developers Party.


* ATHENS -- An explosive device caused minor damage to a court building in the town of Larissa in central Greece, police said. The building was closed at the time, but falling glass slightly injured a woman walking by. There were no immediate claims of responsibility.

* VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia -- A bomb exploded under railroad tracks as a passenger train traveled by in southern Russia, derailing seven cars and slightly injuring about six people, officials said.

-- From News Services