Car bomb explodes at shopping center in Cape Town suburb

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - A car bomb exploded in a parking lot outside a fashionable shopping center in Cape Town on Friday, slightly injuring two people, police said.

The car was gutted and its roof was ripped off by the explosion shortly after noon about 60 feet from a popular restaurant.

''I heard a loud bang and the windscreen came flying though the air,'' said Lucille Adams, who was in the parking lot. ''I ducked. I was worried about my three kids.''

The car's windscreen smashed into the ground near Adams but she wasn't hurt.

Jackie Selebi, the national police commissioner, promised to track down those responsible. ''We don't know what kind of human beings place a bomb next to a restaurant,'' he said. ''To us it must be mad people.''

Selebi said a 10-year-old boy in the restaurant and a man who was sitting in his car were injured. Earlier, police said four people were slightly injured.

A series of bombings in Cape Town have killed two people and injured at least 100 since June 1998. Police have accused a Muslim vigilante group called People Against Gangsterism and Drugs for some of the explosions.

Selebi said police were investigating whether there was any link between Friday's blast and the attempted murder conviction earlier in the day of a member of the vigilante group.

Scores of People Against Gangsterism members have been arrested on other charges but none has been accused in the bombings. The organization denies responsibility and claims that corrupt police are involved.


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