Gunshots heard at ambassador's house in Peru
January 13, 1997
Web posted at: 12:45 p.m. EST (1745 GMT)
LIMA, Peru (CNN) -- Three bursts of gunfire were heard Monday
morning at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima where
74 hostages are being held by Tupac Amaru rebels.
After the shots, police scurried through the streets
surrounding the compound, but no further firing was heard.
There was no immediate indication of why the shots were
fired, and no injuries were reported.
It was the largest burst of gunfire since the Tupac Amaru
guerrillas stormed the residence during a party on the night
of December 17. Twice previously, the rebels have fired a
couple of shots in what Red Cross officials later were told
were warning shots.
Monday's gunfire came shortly before 11:30 a.m., only minutes
after International Red Cross representative Michel Minnig
walked out of the house where the hostages are being held.
A short while afterward, Minnig returned to the residence and
went inside, stayed a few minutes, then left telling reporters no one was injured.
He said he did not know why the shots were fired.
"We are trying to figure that out," he said.
Hours earlier, the rebels had posted a sign in a window of
the house inviting a Peruvian television network to come in
for an interview.
On Sunday, a meeting between a government negotiator and the
rebels did not take place as expected. The negotiator,
Education Minister Domingo Palermo, said the rebels demanded
that he bring a proposal for freeing about 400 of their
comrades from Peruvian jails.
The release of the prisoners has been the rebels' principal
demand since the beginning of the 28-day hostage siege.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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