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 Post subject: At least 10 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka blast
 Post Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:57 pm 
At least 10 soldiers killed in Sri Lanka blast

"Our first information was that 14 people were killed on the spot and several others were wounded," a police official in Vavuniya said.

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@ ABC/ Tuesday, 24 July 2007

At least 10 Sri Lankan government soldiers have been killed and eight others were wounded when their military convoy was hit by a huge roadside bomb laid by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels.

The victims, almost all off-duty soldiers, were travelling through the northern district of Vavuniya, close to the frontline with the rebels' mini-state, when the bomb went off.

"Our first information was that 14 people were killed on the spot and several others were wounded," a police official in Vavuniya said.

"The military has told us that the figure is 10 soldiers killed and eight wounded."

"The bus was carrying unarmed army personnel who were going on leave," the defence ministry said in a statement.

The injured have been rushed to the Anuradhapura General Hospital.

The convoy was travelling from the north-western 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."

The four paramilitary policemen were killed earlier Tuesday when suspected Tiger rebels lobbed grenades into a bunker in Vavuniya district.

Two more constables also escaped with injuries.

The latest attacks came as security was stepped up in the capital Colombo.

Officials said police and security forces have been placed on maximum alert in the capital amid fears of Tamil Tiger bomb attacks during the 24th anniversary this week of anti-Tamil riots.

"Certain additional precautions are being taken," government spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said.

He says that the Tigers were expected to step up sabotage and hit-and-run attacks after the fall of their last stronghold in the island's east.

Security forces wrested control over the eastern province following the capture earlier this month of the rebel jungle base of Thoppigala, situated just inland from the lagoon town of Batticaloa.

The guerrillas admitted the fall of their base but promised more attacks.


- AFP


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