A gun battle erupted among massive crowds awaiting the return to Argentina of former President Juan Peron on Wednesday (20 June).
A gun battle erupted among massive crowds awaiting the return to Argentina of former President Juan Peron on Wednesday (20 June). It is unclear how many died in the clashes, but estimates between eight and twenty have been given. The number of wounded could be as high as two hundred.
More than a million people had gathered at the airport for what was to have been a triumphant return after 18 years in exile. General Peron's aircraft was diverted to a military airport when guns were seen near the rostrum from which General Peron was to address the welcoming rally.
The gun battle flared when a group of people -- said by police to be armed Peronists -- tried to seize control of the rostrum. After being greeted by officials and newsmen at the military airport, ex-President Peron said he had cancelled his appearance at the mass rally to avoid further disorders.
SYNOPSIS: This was the massive welcome intended for the return of former President Juan Peron to Argentina on Wednesday. More than a million people had gathered at Buenos Aires' airport, but it was a welcome which turned into a disaster.
A gun battle erupted not long before General Peron was due. At least eight people were killed, but some estimates say the number could be as high as twenty. Up to two hundred people were wounded. General Peron's aircraft was diverted to a military airport else-where in the city. The crowd panicked as they tried to run clear of the shooting.
Police said the gunfight started when a group of armed men tried to storm the rostrum from which General Peron was to address the welcoming rally.
Most of the casualties came in the first few minutes of the gun battle which continued for more than half an hour.
As the shooting continued at Ezeiza airport, General Peron was being greeted by officials and newsmen. General Peron said he didn't address the rally to avoid further disturbances.