Big Puerto Rican strike ends, five arrested planting bombs

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Police arrested five people who were planting homemade bombs Thursday at the headquarters of the Puerto Rico Telephone Co. — the company whose sale prompted the biggest protest in the U.S. territory’s history.
Three adults and two 15-year-olds were found at dawn with bombs made of acid, metal, keys and shards of glass at the company’s suburban Guaynabo offices, Col. Adalberto Mercado said.
The police, who suspect a clandestine pro-independence guerrilla group in previous bomb plantings, identified the three adults arrested as Alex Noel Ramos Vazquez, 21, Heriberto Olivera Vargas, 21, and Luis A. Morales Andaluz, 20.
The incident came hours after union leaders ended a 48-hour general strike that began Tuesday with a dramatic blockade of the main airport, a bomb and the strafing of a bank. The strike fizzled Wednesday to picket line scuffles with police and an ax attack on a telephone pole.
Union leaders said the strike united Puerto Ricans like few other issues in a century of U.S. rule. However, it ended Wednesday night with pro-independence rallies — a stance a recent poll showed is supported by fewer than 8 percent of Puerto Ricans.