Sri Lanka fears more attacks on civilians

COLOMBO, Dec 6, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka Thursday warned of more Tamil Tiger attacks against civilians a day after the guerrillas were accused of being responsible for a roadside bomb blast that killed 16 bus passengers. A Norwegian-brokered 2002 truce began to unravel in December 2005. Media Minister Anura Yapa said Wednesday night’s bombing of a crowded civilian bus in the north-central region of the island was the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“We believe that the LTTE is a desperate organisation and will try this type of ruthless attacks against civilians,” the minister told reporters here. “We, the government, condemn this and the government will take appropriate action to protect the people.”

One more wounded passenger died of his injuries at the Anuradhapura hospital Thursday raising the death toll to 16, police said.

The minister said the guerrillas had begun targeting civilians as security forces stepped up pressure on the LTTE’s mini-state in the north of the island after dismantling their bases in the island’s east earlier this year.

“Why they are targeting civilians is because they are weak and desperate. We are trying our level best to destroy these terrorists in the