|Tamil Tigers kill 26 with a bus bomb in Sri Lanka
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|Author:||Guest [ Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:35 pm ]|
|Post subject:||Tamil Tigers kill 26 with a bus bomb in Sri Lanka|
Tamil Tigers kill 26 with a bus bomb in Sri Lanka
The bomb struck the bus in the remote town of Buttala, about 150 miles southeast of Colombo. The attack killed 26 people and injured 64 others. Doctors from Colombo were being flown to the area by emergency helicopters to treat the wounded and medical workers said many of those killed were hit by gunfire.
@ Agencies / SLMOD
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — LTTE ambushed a bus carrying about 80 innocent civilians at Helagama on the Buttala- Monaragala road around 7.40a.m. today killing 26 people. The bus that was carrying large number of schoolchildren, office workers and poor peasants was first attacked with a powerful claymore blast and then fired up on by the terrorists.
Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said it was clear the Tamil Tigers were behind the assault, the latest in a string of attacks in government-held territory in recent months. "There are no other groups operating in the area," he said.
The bomb struck the bus in the remote town of Buttala, about 150 miles southeast of Colombo, about 7:30 a.m., Nanayakkara said. Moments later, a barrage of gunfire hit the vehicle, he said.
The attack killed 26 people and injured 64 others, he said. Doctors from Colombo were being flown to the area by emergency helicopters to treat the wounded and medical workers said many of those killed were hit by gunfire.
One survivor told that the terrorists remorselessly shot at the people who were jumping out of the bus following the blast. Many women survived the bomb blast became easy targets of the terror gunmen, he added.
Over 60 people were initially taken to Buttla hospital following the attack. 23 people among them were already dead and except six, others were transferred to Monaragala hospital. Among the six remaining at the Buttla hospital, there are two children at the ages of 2 years and one month. According to the hospital sources, the mother of the two children was killed in the attack. There are 13 females and 10 males among the dead at the hospital, sources added.
According to the sources in Monaragala hospital 44 people were initially admitted. Two of them succumbed to the injuries while five were airlifted to National hospital Colombo. There are two schoolchildren and two infants at the ages 3 and 4 years among the wounded, the sources added.
Dr. Hector Weerasighe, the director of the National Hospital told that one of the five victims airlifted to Colombo succumbed to the injuries. Other four including a 14-year-old schoolchild are presently being treated at the intensive care unit, he added.
Soon after the attack, a second roadside bomb struck an armored military vehicle in the same region, lightly injuring three soldiers, Nanayakkara said. In response to the attacks, local authorities announced the closure of all schools in the province for three days.
The bombings came just hours after the official end of the 2002 cease-fire agreement, which had largely broken down over the past two years amid renewed fighting.
In the two weeks since the government announced it would annul the cease-fire Wednesday, more than 300 tigers have been killed in the front lines in the north, according to military figures.
In the latest violence, 13 tigers and two soldiers were killed Tuesday in fighting along the front lines in the north, the military said Wednesday.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said he abandoned the cease-fire because it wasn't working and the rebels used it as cover to build up their military strength. At least 5,000 people have been killed since the cease-fire was signed.
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