Jan 2, 2008 (AFP) – Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful roadside bomb in the Sri Lankan capital Wednesday, killing at least five people and wounding another 28, police said. The powerful fragmentation mine targeted an army bus transporting wounded soldiers, although hospital officials said most of the victims were civilians.
A police official at the scene said 28 people were rushed to the Colombo National Hospital. Three people were killed instantly while two died on their way to hospital, police said, adding that one of those killed was a soldier.
Among those wounded were 11 security personnel.
The blast went off as the army bus passed the Hotel Nippon in Colombo’s commercial Slave Island area, where the military has several key installations, police and witnesses said.
“We suspect it was a roadside bomb,” a police official at the scene said. “There are several civilian casualties. At least another civilian bus was also hit by the blast.”
“The attack has all the hallmarks of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).”
Tamil rebels have frequently used roadside fragmentation bombs in their decades-old war for an independent homeland in the no