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Peruvian rebels bomb Coca-Cola plant, kill mayoral candidates; shots fired at American Airlines jet)

By VIDAL SILVA

LIMA, Peru -- Shining Path rebels bombed a Coca-Cola bottling plant in a nationwide scare campaign Friday linked to upcoming municipal elections that cost 11 lives during the day, including those of two mayoral candidates.

Two people died in the Coca-Cola bombing, while seven soldiers were killed in a guerrilla ambush in the Peruvian Amazon. Hours later, Shining Path assassination squads shot dead two candidates running for seats in Jan. 29 ballotting.

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A powerful car-bomb exploded early morning in front of the Coca-Coca bottling plant in an industrial area between Lima and the nearby port of Callao, killing two people and injuring eight others, some seriously.

Police said a team of guerrilla commandos left the vehicle, loaded with dynamite, in front of the bottling plant. The explosion damaged machinery in the plant, the building, seven nearby vehicles and a soft drink delivery truck.

At about the same time, a faction of the Maoist rebel group ambushed an army patrol near the Amazon capital of Tingo Maria, 200 miles northeast of Lima, killing seven soldiers and injuring two others, police said.

Army and police troops from Tingo Maria were pursuing the rebels late Friday, police said.

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Meanwhile, urban guerrillas continued their scare campaign against candidates for the upcoming Jan. 29 elections, killing two mayoral hopefulls.

Police said a pair of Shining Path gunmen shot dead university professor Julio Ruiz Vasquez, an independent mayoralpcc yigfrpu. yiz. rxx. yiperxx. us to naa r i bc-peru-attacks:725pes 4thld-writethru 1-22 NEWLN: (writethru: peruvian rebels kill 11 people, tightening throughout) NEWLN: Peruvian rebels bomb Coca-Cola plant, kill mayoral candidates; shots fired at American Airlines jet) NEWLN: VIDAL SILVA

LIMA, Peru (UPI) -- Shining Path rebels bombed a Coca-Cola bottling plant in a nationwide scare campaign Friday linked to upcoming municipal elections that cost 11 lives during the day, including those of two mayoral candidates.

Two people died in the Coca-Cola bombing, while seven soldiers were killed in a guerrilla ambush in the Peruvian Amazon. Hours later, Shining Path assassination squads shot dead two candidates running for seats in Jan. 29 ballotting.

A powerful car-bomb exploded early morning in front of the Coca-Coca bottling plant in an industrial area between Lima and the nearby port of Callao, killing two people and injuring eight others, some seriously.

Police said a team of guerrilla commandos left the vehicle, loaded with dynamite, in front of the bottling plant. The explosion damaged machinery in the plant, thebuilding, seven nearby vehicles and a soft drink delivery truck.

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At about the same time, a faction of the Maoist rebel group ambushed an army patrol near the Amazon capital of Tingo Maria, 200 miles northeast of Lima, killing seven soldiers and injuring two others, police said.

Army and police troops from Tingo Maria were pursuing the rebels late Friday, police said.

Meanwhile, urban guerrillas continued their scare campaign against candidates for the upcoming Jan. 29 elections, killing two mayoral hopefulls.

Police said a pair of Shining Path gunmen shot dead university professor Julio Ruiz Vasquez, an independent mayoral candidate for the Amarilis district of the city of Huanuco, 150 miles northwest of Lima.

Ruiz was shot seven times while he was returning from a bakery near his home with his seven-year-old daughter, police said.

Another pair of guerrilla gunmen shot dead incumbent candidate Jorge Cardenas Castro in the Lima district of Pachacamac, 30 miles south of the capital.

Rebels have so far killed more than a half dozen candidates posting for the upcoming elections, prompting a rash of politicians to drop out of the race for fear of the communist death squads.

The attacks came just hours after shots were fired at an American Airlines jetliner landing at the Lima international airport. The plane was slightly damaged but no injuries to passengers or crew were reported, airport officials said.

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The shots apparently were fired accidentally by a security guard working around the airport's perimeter, airport authorities said in a statement.

But an airport source said a gunman armed with a long-range rifle fired on the jet at about 12:25 a.m., moments after it touched down at the Jorge Chavez International Airport on a flight from Miami.

The source said the sniper fired at least three bullets at the plane from the poor neighborhood of San Agustin Hacienda.

American Airlines spokesman Tim Smith, based in the airline's headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, told UPI the 'aircraft was going to Lima from Miami, Flight 917... with 13 crewmembers and 177 passengers aboard.'

Smith said the plane had 'two bullet holes in the aft fuselage.'

'There were no injuries,' Smith emphasized, and said the matter was being investigated by Lima military and police.

Smith said American Airlines officials did 'not know that the bullets were aimed at our aircraft or if they were random.'

Last November, a bomb detonated alongside one of the airport walls near where the shots were fired Thursday. That explosion, blamed on Shining Path guerrillas, injured one person and caused part of the wall to collapse.

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had issued a warning to travellers two years ago that the airport was unsafe due to insufficient security measures.

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