Sri Lanka bombs rebels but vows peace

June 16, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s president vowed not to allow the killing of 64 bus passengers derail the island’s peace process as the air force bombarded Tamil Tiger positions Friday for a second straight day. Security was stepped up in the main city of Colombo as the authorities prepared to hold a mass funeral for the victims of Thursday’s attack in the north-central village of Kebitigollewa.

President Mahinda Rajapakse insisted the Norwegian-brokered process would not be allowed to fail following Thursday’s Claymore mine blast, the deadliest attack on civilians here in 10 years.

“We will not allow incidents like this to scuttle the peace process,” the president told survivors and relatives of bus massacre victims on Thursday, an official in his office said.

The government blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the carnage, but the guerrillas denied involvement.

“We will not allow this type of barbaric terrorist attack to happen again,” the president said. “We must resolve the conflict peacefully. No one can resolve problems through this type of violence.”

Police officials said patrols as well as road blocks were intensified across the city and other key towns as part of a