Seven dead, nearly 100 injured in Sri Lanka suicide blast

Feb 3, 2008 (AFP) – At least seven people were killed and 97 hurt Sunday when a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up aboard a crowded train at the main rail station in Colombo, Sri Lankan officials said. The woman set off the explosives as a train from the suburb of Ambepussa pulled up at the Fort railway station, a police spokesman said.

The blast came despite tight security across Sri Lanka on the eve of the 60th independence day celebrations scheduled for Monday.

The victims of Sunday’s blast were rushed to Colombo National Hospital, where doctors said seven people were dead on admission. Hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa said another 97 people were being treated for injuries.

“The bombing has all the hallmarks of the Tigers,” a police officer at the scene said. “The head of the woman suicide bomber was found on a platform.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

Earlier Sunday, at least six visitors to a zoo on the outskirts of Colombo were wounded in a hand grenade attack.

Police had sought public assistance to stem a wave of bombings in the country after a blast Saturday aboard a crowded bus in the north-central town of Dambulla killed 20 people