Motorcycle suicide bomber kills 12 police in Sri Lanka: officials

COLOMBO, June 16, 2008 (AFP) – A suspected Tamil Tiger rebel detonated explosives on his motorcycle outside a police station in northern Sri Lanka Monday, killing at least 12 officers and wounding 40 others, officials said.

The blast occurred during morning rush hour directly in front of the police building in Vavuniya town, 258 kilometres (160 miles) north of Colombo, military and police officials said.

The wounded, who included school children, were rushed to the main hospital.

“It was a Tiger suicide bomber who rammed his (explosives-packed) motorcycle as policemen were leaving for duty,” military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said. Nine policemen and three female constables were killed while another 17 policemen were wounded, police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekara said.

“All those killed in the attack were police personnel,” Gunasekara said adding, however, that civilians were among the wounded.

The most senior police official was not in the building at the time of the blast, a policeman in Vavuniya said when contacted by telephone.

Officials at the Vavuniya hospital said they had received the bodies of 12 people killed in the blast, and a further 40 were rushed in for treatment.

Vavuniya