Davao, Philippines — Searchers saw decomposing bodies inside five huts in a jungle village, where 69 tribesmen reportedly ate poisoned porridge in a mass suicide, a military official said today.

Col. Honesto Bumanglag said a team of military investigators found the bodies at Gunitan, a mountain village northwest of Davao.

The Times Journal newspaper reported Thursday that a religious leader of the Ata tribe had gathered his animist followers on Sept. 9 to watch a ritual that would turn the leaves of a tree into money.

When the dried leaves did not turn into paper bills, he told the tribesmen to eat gruel spiked with insecticide so they will see “the image of god,’ the newspaper reported.


Lisbon, Portugal — ten suspected terrorists and a Spanish accomplice overpowered guards with a noxious spray and escaped from prison in central Lisbon Saturday, the Noticias de Portugal news agency said.

“One soldier on guard fired some shots and almost certainly hit some of the escapees,” a prison source told the news agency.

The detainees sprayed an unknown substance into the guards’ eyes, temporarily blinding them, before escaping the prison by its main door, the news agency said.

Police searched an area 15 miles south of Lisbon, but no fugitives were found.

Ten of the 11 escapees were accused of being members of the extreme leftist April 25 People’s Forces, of FP25, and were on trial on charges of terrorism.

Seoul, South Korea — Members of 25 families separated by the division of the Korean Peninsula in 1948 held tearful reunions today in North and South Korea, a day after the hostile governments allowed exchange delegations to cross their border for the first time.

As the delegation from North Korea met with their families in Seoul, a group of South Koreans were reunited with relatives in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

The two groups of North and South Koreans were the first exchange of separated family members since the division of the Korean peninsula. They are to return home on Monday.

Lima, Peru — Guerrillas, presumed to be members of the Shining Path, blacked out Lima Friday night and attacked tw said.

The 45minute blackout in western Peru affected more than a third of the nation’s 19 million inhabitants and came a day before Garcia was to leave on a highly publicized trip to speak at the United Nations in New York.

Radio reports said the blackout hit a 350mile stretch of coastal Peru, from Chimbote to the north to Ica in the south, including metropolitan Lima with its 6 million inhabitants.

Kuwait — A radical underground Palestinian leader, in an interview published Saturday, said he has turned down hundreds of requests to assassinate Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat.

Sabri (Abu Nidal) Banna, the elusive leader of the breakaway revolutionary council of Arafat’s Al Fatah group, admitted engineering terrorist attacks in Brussels, Rome, Madrid and West Germany but declined to elaborate on specific operations.

“I have had hundreds of requests to kill Arafat, but I have turned them all down,” Abu Nidal told the editor in chief of the newspaper Al Qabas in the interview conducted in Tripoli, Libya.

Bonn, West Germany — Husband and wife spies who apparently defected to East Germany had been warned they were under suspicion by a top West German intelligence official who also fled the country, the government said Friday.

HansJoachim Tiedge, a high-ranking West German counter intelligence official, tipped off HertaAstrid Willner, a secretary in the office of Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and her husband, Herbert, who turned up in East Germany on Monday, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry said.Tiedge, who was in charge of uncovering East German agents, defected to East Berlin on Aug. 19. He knew of police suspicions against Mrs. Willner and the couple defected a few days later, said spokesman HansGuenther Kowalski.

Article extracted from this publication >>  September 27, 1985