October 6, 2005

Four small bombs hit US interests in Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) - Four homemade bombs
exploded on Thursday at U.S.-owned banks and a Blockbuster
video store in Argentina in what appeared to be a protest
against U.S. President George W. Bush's visit next month,
police said.

No one was hurt in the early morning attacks targeting two
Citibank branches and another belonging to BankBoston in towns
outside the capital, Buenos Aires. But damage at the
Blockbuster store was considerable.

Pamphlets that read "No to Bush in Argentina!" were found
in the debris, signed by unknown groups including the "Che
Guevara Anti-Imperialist Commando," said Oscar Rodriguez,
police chief in the suburb of San Miguel.

Vandals also smashed windows at a Ford car dealership,
police said.

U.S. interests, particularly banks, are often targeted in
Argentina by groups that plant small bombs on the eve of visits
by U.S. or International Monetary Fund officials.

Bush will visit the coastal Argentine city of Mar del Plata
on November 4-5 for a summit of heads of state of the Americas.

Last week, police said they had found a locker at a bus
station containing old grenades and a copy of the Koran and
maps of Mar del Plata. Police said it was the work of amateurs.

A poll last month showed that six out of 10 Argentines
disapprove of Bush. Many Argentines feel the United States
blocked a badly needed financial-aid package during a 2001
economic crisis.