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Suicide attack in Sri Lankan capital

Latest update : 2008-02-29

A Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated his explosives, killing himself and wounding seven others, on Friday as police closed in on him at a house in the Sri Lankan capital, officials said.

COLOMBO, Feb 29 (Reuters) - A suicide bomb blast shook a
building near the port in the Sri Lankan capital early on
Friday, killing at least two people and wounding seven, bomb
squad and military officials said.

The explosion occurred during a search and cordon operation
by police in the quarter of Modhara, near the harbour that sits
north of Colombo's financial district, aimed at flushing out
Tamil Tiger rebels seeking to mount attacks in the capital.

"There was a suicide attack," the bomb squad officer said,
asking not to be named in line with policy.

The military said it suspected the bomb was detonated by
one or more rebels who believed they were about to be cornered.

"There was a search and cordon operation going on. Maybe
before they were caught, they blew themselves up," said a
military spokesman, again declining to be named.

Hospital officials said the seven wounded included three
policemen and four civilians, one of them in a serious
condition. The identities of the dead were unclear.

The separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who
are seeking to carve out an independent state in north and east
Sri Lanka, were not immediately available for comment.

The Tigers are blamed for a series of bombings in and
around the capital in recent months, and are known for using
suicide fighters in a war that has killed an estimated 70,000
people since 1983.

Date created : 2008-02-29