Bombs exploded at three French installations in Berlin and Beirut Thursday killing at least two people and injuring 33. Armenian terrorists claimed they staged the attacks to get Armenian comrades freed from French jails.
In West Berlin, a bomb blasted the French consulate on the city's main street, the Kurfuerstendamm, and police said a West German peace activist was killed and 23 people were injured.
The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to the West Berlin office of the French news agency AFP.
ASALA had threatened retaliation against the French for detaining dozens of Armenians after it bombed the Turkish Airlines counter in Paris' Orly airport July 15, killing six people and injuring 55.
In Beirut, a French military spokesman said one soldier of the French peace-keeping force was killed and eight were wounded in an explosion at a Legionnaire base in the western section of the Lebanese capital. He blamed the explosion on a crate of ammunition which caught fire accidentally, but the Armenians said they set it off with grenades.
About an hour later, police reported a bomb concealed in a package exploded outside the east Beirut offices of Air France, injuring two employees inside.
A short time later, a heavily-accented caller claiming to represent the 'Orly Armenian Revolutionary Organization' called the UPI bureau in London and said it 'takes full responsibility for the attacks carried out today against the institutions of the French fascist regime' in Beirut and Berlin.
The caller said 'our commandos attacked with grenades the commanding center of the French Rapid Deployment forces in Lebanon.'
He said the Air France office was also attacked with grenades, 'causing heavy material damage and several persons wounded.'
He also claimed responsibility for the Berlin attack, adding erroneously that four people were killed and 25 wounded.
'We will continue our struggle until the liberation of innocent Armenians from French jails,' the caller warned.
French police have speculated in the past that 'Orly' and ASALA are one and the same.
West Berlin police said the bomb was planted on the top floor of the four-story building known as the Maison de France. It demolished the top two floors, sending most of the front wall, roof and scaffolding crashing to the ground.
Police said a 26-year-old West German man was killed. Friends of the victim, identified only as Michael H., said he belonged to a group of peace activists who were inside the consulate distributing leaflets protesting French nuclear tests in the Pacific.
Police said many of the injured were workers engaged in reconstruction work on the building that was draped with a blue plastic cover. Others hurt included those attending French classes and one fireman.
ASALA, which says it is avenging the 1915 massacre of some 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey, also claimed responsiblity for the July 14 assassination of a Turkish embassy attache in Brussels.
Following the Orly airport bombing, 56 Armenian suspects were rounded up and 11 are still in detention with another 10 under house arrest in various parts of France. Another Armenian is serving a jail term for throwing a grenade at the Turkish Airline office in Paris last January.