Senior police officer killed in Sri Lanka blast

Sri Dharanee Performance Arts Theatre

Aug 7, 2006 (AFP) – A senior police officer was killed and his driver critically wounded in a powerful mine explosion in central Sri Lanka Monday, police said, blaming Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack. The latest blast came as government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in a bitter battle over the control of water in the north-eastern district of Trincomalee since July 26. Senior Superintendent Upul Seneviratne was travelling to the Special Task Force (STF) training college when his car was hit by the Claymore mine blast at Digana in the district of Kandy, Deputy Inspector General Nimal Lewke said.

He said the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had carried out the attack against Seneviratne, who had earlier served in the embattled eastern province and is now head of the police commando training school.

“The blast went off as he got on the main road to get to his workplace this morning,” Lewke said. “Obviously the Tigers may have been watching him for a while.”

Seneviratne succumbed to his injuries after being admitted to a hospital in Kandy, 72 miles (112 kilometres) east of here, police said, adding that his driver was in a critical condition.

Police have stepped up