Bomb wounds five in Sri Lanka town where Tamil strike seeks troop pullout

A bomb blast wounded five people on Friday in Sri Lanka’s northeastern port town of Trincomalee, where Tamils staged a strike to demand security forces withdraw from the streets, police and witnesses said. A bomb blast wounded five people on Friday in Sri Lanka’s northeastern port town of Trincomalee, where Tamils staged a strike to demand security forces withdraw from the streets, police and witnesses said. Police said they were investigating the attack.

The explosion at a market place came two weeks after a string of bomb attacks killed one man and wounded at least seven in the restive port town 260 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of the capital.

The newly-formed Hindu Tamil People’s Organisation last month led rallies and staged a week-long strike to protest against Buddhist taxi drivers erecting a large Buddha statue in town.

The government deployed hundreds of soldiers to reinforce local police.

“Today’s strike is to seek the withdrawal of the high level of security in the town area,” a local resident said by telephone.

Tamils, who are predominantly Hindus, form the largest minority in Sri Lanka, making up 18 percent of the population. Trincomalee is home to Tamils and