Suicide bombing attack toll climbs to eight

March 27, 2007 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels Tuesday drove a tractor and trailer loaded with explosives on a suicide mission into an army camp in eastern Sri Lanka, killing at least eight people, a day after their spectacular first ever air raid.

Ten people were also wounded in the attack on the Chenkaladi army camp, a military official in the area said.

The attack came a day after the Tigers carried out their first air raid, using single-engined planes to bomb a military air base adjacent to Sri Lanka’s only international airport and killing three airmen and wounding 16 others.

Two separate teams are investigating the air strike — an embarrassing blow to the country’s defence establishment — and President Mahinda Rajapakse also held an emergency meeting with political party leaders here on Monday night.

“The air power of a frenzied and desperate organisation as the LTTE is a grave threat aimed not only to Sri Lanka but also to the entire South Asian region,” the president’s office said in a joint statement.

It said political parties in Sri Lanka urged the international community to “make a proper assessment of this very real danger.”

The Tigers said the military carried out retaliatory air strikes inside rebel-hel