UN chief slams Tamil Tiger terror attacks

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 16, 2008 (AFP) – UN chief Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the “indiscriminate attacks” which left dozens of people dead or injured in southern Sri Lanka and urged the rival sides to strive for a peaceful negotiated settlement.

“The Secretary General strongly condemns the indiscriminate attacks in the southeast of Sri Lanka today which left dozens of dead and injured, including children,” his spokeswoman Michele Montas said in a statement.

Reiterating his belief that the only way to stop further violence in Sri Lanka was through dialogue, Ban urged the parties concerned “to undertake genuine efforts to achieve a peaceful negotiated solution.”

At least 24 civilians were killed and scores wounded in Wednesday”s suspected Tamil Tiger bomb attack on a crowded bus in southern Sri Lanka coinciding with the end of the island’s ceasefire.

The Sri Lankan defense ministry said the bus packed with schoolchildren was hit by a powerful Claymore-type mine — a bomb packed with explosives and ball-bearings. With the Indian Ocean island sliding back into all-out war, Scandinavian truce monitors packed their bags and made a renewed appeal for the government and the Tamil Tigers to return to talks — arguing that neither can wi