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The BBC's James Reynolds in Lima
"Calm has now returned to Lima but the heavy security remains"
 real 56k

Alejandro Toledo, opposition leader
"Fujimori will not last more than a year"
 real 28k

Saturday, 29 July, 2000, 23:36 GMT 00:36 UK
Fujimori blames 'terrorist' opposition
The national bank in Lima
Six died in a fire in the national bank
Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori has accused his opponents of trying to burn down the congress building, in order to block his inauguration on Friday.

In what is being seen as one of his strongest attacks on the opposition yet, Mr Fujimori said they behaved like terrorists during the mass protests and violence that accompanied his swearing-in ceremony.

Peru's opposition had earlier blamed the government for Friday's fatal clashes in the capital Lima in which six people died and at least 80 were injured during a running battle with riot police.

Demonstrators were protesting against the inauguration of President Alberto Fujimori.

"It was a recalcitrant sector of the opposition, trying to stop a new government being installed at all costs, a completely crazy act," Mr Fujimori said at an official military function.

President Fujimori has blamed the opposition for the deaths
Earlier opposition leader Alejandro Toledo said the violence was the work of the national intelligence service.

He said that 100 security agents infiltrated what was supposed to be a peaceful march to Congress.

He also accused them of kidnapping a fire crew which was on its way to put out a fire at the National Bank building where the six people died.

The government has rejected the accusations, saying that the opposition is wholly responsible for the violence.

Calm has now returned to Lima but there is still heavy security in the centre of the city.

Police wearing riot gear are guarding the presidential palace.

Friday's violence

A pall of black smoke mixed with tear gas hung over Lima on Friday afternoon as protesters, who say the president's May election win was fraudulent, battled with police.

Some of the tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated peacefully, while others threw Molotov cocktails and set fire to tyres and several government buildings.

Alejandro Toledo
Alejandro Toledo organised the demonstration
The National Electoral Council building was among the buildings in flames.

Just blocks away from where the violence spiralled out of control, Mr Fujimori was sworn in for an unprecedented third five-year term in a closely-guarded Congress.

Peru's second-largest city, Arequipa, also saw some protests.

The demonstration was the culmination of a massive three-day protest.

Protesters from the Andes, jungle, Pacific coast and Lima's outskirts moved on the city.

Mr Toledo, the 54-year-old son of Andean peasants who rose to become a World Bank economist, is demanding new elections.


The inauguration - which coincided with Peru's Independence Day and Mr Fujimori's 62nd birthday - was marked by high security and ceremony.

Police battle lines
The police formed lines to prevent marchers advancing
The only attending foreign heads of state were from neighbouring Ecuador and Bolivia.

Mr Fujimori made no mention of the riots in his inaugural address, but said the opposition was anti-democratic because it did not respect the election result.

On Saturday, the president swore in his new cabinet - a ceremony postponed from Friday because of the protests.

Federico Salas, a former presidential candidate and mayor of the city of Huancavelica, has taken over as the president of the council of ministers and as minister for education.

Among the other appointments are Alberto Bustamente, who becomes the justice minister, and Carlos Bolona, the new finance minister.

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See also:

27 Jul 00 | Americas
Peru's Fujimori vows to keep control
21 Jul 00 | Americas
Neighbours snub Fujimori
29 May 00 | Americas
Opposition rejects Peru result
26 Apr 00 | Americas
US threatens Peru with sanctions
07 Apr 00 | Americas
Fujimori's controversial career
29 Jul 00 | Americas
From carnival to clashes
29 Jul 00 | Americas
Peru's bubbling unrest
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