A Sikh militant group that in the past has set off many bombs in the troubled northern state of Punjab called a news agency yesterday and made the first claim of responsibility for the blasts that devastated Bombay March 12. The Press Trust of India said a man identifying himself as a spokesman for the Khalistan Commando Force called and said his group exploded the bombs to show the federal and Punjab governments that it remains active and determined in the battle for independence. The rebel group, one o f many in Punjab, suffered major setbacks last year when police shot and killed its four top leaders in the state. N. Korea bans foreigners

North Korea, which last week withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has banned foreigners from entering the country and restricted the movements of foreign residents, Tass news agency said yesterday. The Russian agency said the decision took effect March 9 when the country put its Army on high alert after the resumption of joint United States-South Korean military exercises. Pyongyang has often denied that it is developing nuclear arms. N.Y. Post not published

The New York Post did not publish yesterday as angry staffers learned the new court-designated owner planned immediate firings at the 192-year-old daily. Prospective owner Abraham Hirschfeld said in a television interview that he wants to save the paper and was going ahead with plans to publish for today. Hirschfeld won the right to buy the paper at a bankruptcy court hearing March 12 when a judge ruled he was in better financial shape to take it over than Steven Hoffenberg, who ran the paper for two mon ths but could not close his purchase deal. Zambian death threat

Zambia's foreign minister said he received a death threat yesterday, four days after announcing the cutting of diplomatic ties with Iran and Iraq. The minister, Vernon Mwaanga, blamed Muslim fundamentalists for the threat. Zambia broke ties with Iran and Iraq March 11, charging agents of those countries were involved in a coup plot by the opposition United National Independence Party. Ozone below normal

Ozone levels over Finland reached a record 25 percent below normal last month and similar depletion will probably be detected elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, meteorologist Petteri Taalas, a researcher at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, said yesterday. It was the second year in a row of record-low ozone levels over the Nordic area. He said there would probably be further depletion this month. UN hits El Salvador

El Salvador's military committed the vast majority of atrocities in the country's civil war, from the massacre of six Jesuits to the slaughter of thousands of civilians, an international rights panel said yesterday. The UN-appointed commission called for the immediate removal of all military officers it cited for human rights violations and said all rights abusers should be barred from political office for at least 10 years.

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