Sri Lanka military convoy hit by land mine, 14 dead

July 24, 2007 (AFP) – Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful roadside bomb in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday, targeting a military convoy and killing at least 14 people, police said. The latest attack came as security was stepped up in the capital Colombo amid fears of bomb attacks by the separatist rebels. The blast went off as the victims, almost all off-duty soldiers, travelled in a convoy through the town of Chettikulam in Vavuniya district, where four paramilitary police guards were killed earlier in the day, police said.

“Our information is that 14 people were killed on the spot and several others were taken to hospital with injuries,” a police official in Vavuniya said when contacted by telephone.

He said the convoy carrying soldiers going home on leave was travelling from the northwestern town of Mannar when it got caught in the mine blast.

There was no immediate comment from the military about the explosion.

“We suspect that the bomb was placed on a parked vehicle and someone may have detonated it using a remote-controlled device,” the police official said. “As the convoy passed, the blast went off.”

The Mannar and Vavuniya districts had been the sc