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 Post subject: Colombo bomb attack kills three - Photos added
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:07 pm 
Sri Lanka bomb attack kills three
A three-year-old child among the casualties

Image

08.08.2006
@ Forbes


COLOMBO (XFN-ASIA) - Three people were killed in a bomb attack aimed at a Sri Lanka politician opposed to Tamil Tiger rebels who have been fighting a separatist insurgency here for decades, police said.

The blast, which exploded in front of a girls' school in a crowded area of the capital Colombo, comes amid new fighting in the past two weeks between the government and rebels that has killed at least 440 people.

A three-year-old child is thought to be among the casualties. The Reuters news agency reports that eyewitnesses at the scene of the blast, near a girls' school, saw the dead child's body lying on the tarmac near the burnt out wreckage of a van.

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Seven people were hospitalized with injuries including the target of the attack, M Sivadasan, a former Tamil legislator from the Eelam People's Democratic Party who has survived several previous attempts on his life.

The party fiercely opposes the separatist campaign of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who police blamed for the attack.

'He is okay,' hospital spokeswoman Pushpa Soysa said. 'His condition is stable. We had a total of eight people admitted, and one had already been discharged after minor treatment.'

Sivadasan was the top aide to EPDP leader Douglas Devananda, who is currently the Hindu Affairs Minister in the government. The bomb was thought to have been planted on the undercarriage of his mini-van, police officials said.

Earlier the bodies of 17 aid workers from a French charity, all of them Sri Lankan nationals, were recovered from the northeastern town of Muttur -- one of the flashpoints of the latest violence.

'These humanitarian workers were clearly identified by their T-shirts as members of a non-governmental organization,' said Benoit Miribel, director of the group, Action Against Hunger (Action Contre la Faim, ACF).

It was not clear what happened or who killed them, but the independent Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies which found the bodies said it appeared they were shot at close range.

The government and rebels blamed each other for the killings.

An airforce trooper was killed in a suspected Tiger attack today while three people who escaped with injuries were brought to the same hospital where the bodies of the aid workers were being identified, officials said.


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