Car bomb kills two in Sri Lanka

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The Independent Online

A car bomb exploded in front of a girls' school in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo today, killing at least two people and wounding seven, the Media Centre of the Defence Ministry and police said.

Among the dead was a girl who was walking past the van when it exploded, said Rienzie Perera, a police spokesman. The identity of the other victim was not immediately known.

Dr. Anil Jayasinghe of Colombo's National Hospital said at least seven people have been admitted with injuries.

The apparent target was S. Sivathasan, a former lawmaker for the Eelam People's Democratic Party, which bitterly opposes the country's separatist Tamil Tiger guerrillas, according to party leader and government minister Douglas Devananda.

Sivathasan was travelling and was near the school when the explosion occurred, Devananda said.

Officials say they suspect Tamil Tigers were behind the attack.

The EPDP renounced violence decades back and joined the country's political mainstream. The Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam, who are campaigning for a separate homeland for the country's 3.2 million Tamils, oppose the EPDP.

In July 2004, a suicide bomber targeted Devananda, who is a government minister. The bomber detonated explosives killing four while being frisked.