Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Miami News, June 1, 1968, "Cubans Claim Ship Bombings"

Cuban Power, an exile terrorist organization based in Miami, claimed today it waas responsible for bombing a Japanese freighter yesterday at a Tampa dock and a British ship off Key West.

A spokesman, identified only as Ernesto, added that "other ships are going to explode." He said Cuban Power is warring against trade with Cuba. "Explosives were placed about the vessel Asaka Maru many days before the explosion occurred," he claimed.

The Asaka Maru was rocked by an explosion in a stern compartment that houses the ship's steering mechanism. The freighter, docked at a phosphate terminal at the Tampa port, would have sunk had it been at sea at the time of the explosion, officials said.

No injuries were reported and damage was estimated at $100,000. Hillsborough County Deputy Fred Crane said witnesses reported smelling something similar to gunsmoke after the explosion. "The odor of gunpowder indicates some sort of bomb was responsible," said Crane.

The FBI was investigating the case today.

Copyright (c) 1968 The Miami News

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