Suspected suicide bomber held in Sri Lanka

July 19, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan police have arrested a suspected Tamil suicide bomber and three would-be accomplices in President Mahinda Rajapakse’s home constituency, the defence ministry said Wednesday. The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, had undergone training with the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), defence ministry spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

“We can confirm that she is a suicide bomber and following her arrest on Sunday, we have arrested three more people who were helping her,” Rambukwella told reporters.

He said the arrest was made at the southern Sri Lankan town of Tissamaharama, Rajapakse’s constituency, but could not immediately say if she intended to kill the president.

The army’s number three officer, Parami Kulatunga, was assassinated by a suicide bomber last month while army chief Sarath Fonseka was critically wounded by a woman suicide bomber in April.

Suicide bombers are an LTTE trade mark. The group earlier this month paid homage to 273 of their men and women who have staged suicide attacks since a first strike in July 1987.