Suicide bombing kills over 100 in Sri Lanka

Oct 16, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka suffered its worst ever suicide attack on Monday when suspected Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a truck packed with explosives next to a convoy of sailors, killing at least 102 people and wounding 150 more. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the three-decades-old conflict for a Tamil homeland on the Sinhalese-majority island. The government said the “barbaric” act, which coincided with increased international efforts to restore a 2002 truce, meant the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was not interested in negotiations scheduled to take place next week in Switzerland.

The bombing occurred about 170 kilometres (105 miles) northeast of Colombo at a transit point for security personnel coming to and from the front line of the drawn-out conflict in the restive northeastern district of Trincomalee.

“Suicide bombers drove a truck packed with explosives into the area where there were about 15 buses,” a police official in nearby Sigiriya town told AFP by telephone. “We have two helicopters to evacuate the wounded”.

Doctors said that 98 bodies were at the nearby Dambulla hospital while four more people died while being taken by road to a hospital in the major town of Kurunegala.