Suicide bombing rocks Sri Lanka’s popular Galle

GALLE, Sri Lanka, Oct 18, 2006 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels staged an audacious suicide attack against Sri Lanka’s historic port of Galle Wednesday, killing at least two people and destroying three navy craft, officials said. The attack in Galle — a popular tourist destination regarded as Sri Lanka’s Riviera — came as foreign envoys pushed for the government and the Tigers to hold peace talks later this month.

Police said authorities were still clearing the port area where offshore there are 26 diving sites and 15 ship wrecks dating back 400 years when Galle was a key transit point in the sea silk route to the Orient.

The main Karapitiya hospital here said a sailor and a civilian were killed and 15 injured sailors and eight civilians were still being treated.

Police moved to enforce a curfew clamped to prevent violence in this Sinhalese-majority city after constables opened fire and wounded three men who tried to attack shops owned by minority Tamils.

The pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website said a force of 15 rebels in five boats entered the tightly guarded port.

Two boats landed and carried out rocket propelled grenades on the habour while three explosives-laden boats rammed and sank three naval craft, the T