Sri Lankan capital on alert after bomb kills seven civillians

May 29, 2007 (AFP) – Security forces and police stepped up security in the Sri Lankan capital on Tuesday after suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a roadside bomb killing seven civilians, officials said. All vehicles entering Colombo were subjected to individual searches by heavily armed troops and police, a police spokesman said.

The move, following Monday evening’s rush-hour blast, caused huge traffic jams during the morning peak period.

“All vehicles entering the city are being checked,” the spokesman said. “This is a precautionary measure after yesterday’s bomb attack.”

Soldiers were also seen going from house to house in the northern part of this city of 600,000 people.

Hospitals reported that seven people were killed and another 39, including seven police commandos, were wounded in the bomb targeting a police vehicle near a key military airbase on the edge of the capital.

President Mahinda Rajapakse condemned the bombing and sent condolences to the bereaved families. Media Minister Anura Yapa said the blast was the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

There was no reaction from the rebels, who are fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamil