July 24, 2007 (AFP) – At least 14 Sri Lankan government troops were killed in Tamil Tiger attacks in the north of the island Tuesday as the capital was put on red alert over fears of more rebel bombings, officials said. At least 10 soldiers were killed when their military convoy was hit by a huge roadside bomb in the northern district of Vavuniya, close to the frontline with the rebels’ de facto mini-state.
“The military has told us that the figure is 10 soldiers killed and eight wounded,” a police official in Vavuniya said.
“The bus was carrying unarmed army personnel who were going on leave,” the defence ministry said in a statement, adding that the injured had been rushed to hospital for treatment.
The military blamed the attack on the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The convoy was travelling from the northwestern town of Mannar, a key government base and also the scene of fighting in recent days, when it was hit.
“We suspect that the bomb was placed on a parked vehicle and someone may have detonated it using a remote-controlled device,” the police official said. “As the convoy passed, the blast went off.”
Four paramilitary policemen were also killed earlier Tuesday when