'Suicide blast' kills nine in Sri Lanka
Friday 16 May 2008
Nine people, including seven policemen, were killed when a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber on a motorbike rammed a bus in the Sri Lankan capital today.
Doctors at the National Hospital in Colombo said seven policemen and two civilians were killed and more than 85 people were wounded in the blast, which happened in a commercial quarter of the capital near the Hilton Hotel.
The area is a high security zone that is also the site of the Sri Lanka's presidential office and military headquarters.
The military blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack. The Tigers, who routinely deny involvement in such attacks, were not immediately available for comment.
"The target was a police bus and a motorbike had crashed into the police bus," said military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.
Fighting between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has intensified since the government formally pulled out of a 6-year-old ceasefire pact in January, though a renewed civil war has been raging since 2006.
The latest attack came as the Sri Lankan military presses on with an offensive to retake the Tigers' northern stronghold.
The Tigers are fighting for an independent state in the north and east of the island in a 25-year civil war that has killed an estimated 70,000 people.
Analysts say the military has the upper hand in the latest phase of the long-running war given superior air power, strength of numbers and swathes of terrain captured in the island's east. But they still see no clear winner on the horizon.
The Tigers are regularly hitting back with suicide attacks increasingly targeting civilians and roadside bombs, experts and the military say, which have deterred tourists and have worried some investors in the $27 billion economy.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...