HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sri Lanka explosion kills 58 civilians

ISN SECURITY WATCH (Thursday, 15 June 2006: 10.40 CET) – At least 58 civilians have been killed and some 80 others injured in a bus explosion in northeastern Sri Lanka. The blast has been blamed on separatists.

A bus struck a mine on Thursday in Kabithigollewa in what is perhaps the worst incident in Sri Lanka since the government and separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) signed a ceasefire in 2002.

The bus was carrying people to a major market. The local hospital said at least 15 children were among the dead.

“This is a barbaric act by the LTTE, which will further isolate them in the eyes of the international community,” government spokesman Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told reporters.

However, the LTTE has denied any role in the attack and issued a statement condemning it.

“The LTTE condemns this attack on the civilian bus,” it said in a statement posted on the internet. “Directly targeting civilians can’t be justified under any circumstances.” Statement also said that rebels suspected the attack was carried out by a paramilitary group linked to the government.

Hours after the explosion, the Sri Lanka military launched artillery attacks against suspected LTTE positions.

The pro-Tiger TamilNet website said two air force bombers had begun bombing rebel-controlled Mullaithivu and its suburbs.

Government officials and separatists met in Geneva in February for peace talks - the first such meeting in three years - but little progress has been made and it appears that there has actually been a surge in violence in the meantime, with both sides blaming each for the attacks.

At least 720 people have been killed in violence in Sri Lanka since December, according to official estimates.

On Wednesday, LTTE leaders had returned home after failed talks in Oslo with Sri Lankan government officials.

In late May, the EU banned the LTTE, listing it as a organization, following the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, and India.

The Tamil Tigers are fighting for autonomy for minority Tamils in the north and east of Sri Lanka. More than 60 000 people have been killed in the island's Tamil separatist conflict since 1972.
(By ISN Security Watch staff, news agencies)
Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org