The South African consulate was heavily damaged early Wednesday when a powerful explosion in a stairwell of a Manhattan office building knocked out two walls and left rubble strewn over five floors of the 33-story structure, authorities said. No one was injured. An anonymous caller gave warning a few minutes before the bomb went off.
After the explosion, the Associated Press received a taped message in which an accented male voice said: ''We bombed the South African Consulate in New York City in solidarity with resistance to South African human rights violations. Down with apartheid. Victory to the freedom fighters. Defeat US imperialism. Guerrilla resistance.''