A suicide attack by a suspected Tamil Tiger killed 3 people in eastern Sri Lanka. Security forces threw a blanket of security over the capital to prevent new attacks, officials said.
Three people were killed in an apparent suicide attack in Sri Lanka's restive east while security forces threw a security blanket over the capital to prevent new attacks, officials said.
A suspected Tiger suicide bomber riding a motorcycle crashed into another motorbike carrying two rival militants in Batticaloa district 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Colombo.
"One man detonated the explosive immediately after crashing into the other bike, killing all three of them," a local military official told AFP by telephone.
The two victims were from a Tamil Tiger breakaway faction that is contesting local polls on March 10.
In Colombo on Sunday, police and other security forces launched a major security sweep a day after a parcel bomb aboard a private bus exploded leaving at least 18 people wounded.
Police spokesman N.K. Illangakoon said they were awaiting a report from a government analyst to figure out if the bomb was triggered by remote control or a timing device.
Ten men, seven women and a child were admitted to hospital after suffering minor injuries in the blast in Mount Lavinia, 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Colombo, police said.
While investigations were being conducted, security forces sealed off all entry and exit points to Colombo on Sunday, paralysing the city of 650,000.
Motorists had to wait in long lines to get vehicles inspected and identity verified at military check points.
Along with the search operations, Illangakoon said police have also intensified awareness programmes to show bus and train commuters how to respond to a bomb threat.
Elsewhere, artillery duels across the island's embattled northern districts left at least 37 rebels dead on Saturday, the defence ministry said placing its own losses at 17 soldiers wounded.
According to the defence ministry, 1,524 rebels have been killed so far this year. The military estimates the rebel strength at 5,000 combatants.
The military said 84 soldiers and police have been killed in 2008.
Casualty figures provided by both sides differ vastly and cannot be independently verified since the government bars journalists and human rights workers from frontline and rebel-held areas.
The Sri Lankan government last month officially pulled out of a truce with the guerrillas, who have fought for more than three decades for a homeland in the Sinhalese-majority island.
Date created : 2008-02-24