Sri Lanka bomb attack kills 22, including general turned politician

Oct 06, 2008 (LBO) – A former Sri Lankan military general who won office in a regional election was killed in a suicide blast in the along with a score of others in the north central city of Anuradhapura, police said.

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Retired Major-General Janaka Perera, who represented the main opposition United National Party in a regional body, died along with at least 21 others, including his wife, military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said.

More than 60 people were wounded in the blast, from a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber, which had occurred near the UNP party office.

Several members of the UNP, including financier Raja Johnpullai and his wife, were among those killed in the blast.

Police said several journalists covering the opening of the new UNP party office were among the casualties.

The attack came as Sri Lanka’s army closed in on the Tigers’ northern Kilinochchi stronghold as part of a military campaign to crush the rebels and regain control of the north.

The military had warned that the Tigers could retaliate by trying to set off bombs elsewhere in the island.

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