Sri Lanka suicide bomb blast rocks capital Colombo

Jan 02, 2009 (LBO) – A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up Tuesday near Sri Lanka’s air force headquarters just after the government announced the fall of a key rebel held town in the north, military officials and witnesses said. The attack came minutes after the government announced the capture of Kilinochchi, in northern Sri Lanka, after battling the Tigers for months. Military officials said there were military and civilian casualties in the blast.

The explosion occurred in front of the Transasia hotel which lies almost adjacent to the air force headquarters building in the heart of Colombo.

An eyewitness in a highrise which overlooks the city said he saw a puff of smoke and heard a loud explosion.

Air force personnel were diverting traffic which began to build up soon after the blast.