Structural Attempt

June 26, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces found a powerful Claymore mine near an oil storage depot in the capital Tuesday, the defence ministry said. The 20-kilogram (32-pound) bomb was hidden inside the fuel tank of a vehicle belonging to a local official from the island’s Tamil Tiger-held northern district of Kilinochchi, the ministry said.

The military had defused the bomb while police arrested three people, the ministry said adding that further investigations were under way. The discovery was made following a tip off from a resident living next to the Kolonnawa oil storage depot.

Tiger rebels flew light aircraft and bombed the Kolonnawa facility in April. The attack damaged a bitumen storage tank.

“The Claymore mine recovered today is the third roadside bomb discovered in Colombo for the month of June,” the ministry said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have been fighting for an independent homeland. The 35-year old ethnic conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives.