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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2189

Death toll of the suicide attack goes over 100 as Koffi Annan calls it most "Apalling"

By Walter Jayawardhana

Sri lanka Aairforce jets bombs Multhivu in retaliation

Colombo, 17 October, (ASiantribune.com):The death toll of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) suicide bomb attack at Digampathana near Habaran in the North Central Province rose to more than one hundred reports from Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Colombo and Kandy hospitals where very many of the seriously wounded were admitted show.

Issuing a statement from New York Koffi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations described the attack as most "appalling."

Immediately after the suicide attack the Sri Lanka government sent its squadron of Kfir jets to bomb a military installation of the LTTE in Mulathivu. A statement said, “Air Force KFIR jets pounded a tiger terrorist base in Puthukuddierippu in the evening hours yesterday (16).

According to intelligence sources, air strikes have completely destroyed the tiger military base.”

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he condemned the heinous crime by the LTTE and expressed his deepest condolences to the family members of the dead.

Defense spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said that the government would defeat terrorism with the help of the opposition. He also said the peace talks anyway would be definitely be held as scheduled on October 28 and 29 as scheduled.

The LTTE, the world’s most sophisticated suicide bomb attacker used one of its male suicide bombers to ram a truck laden with plastic explosives against a convoy of buses taking Sri Lanka navy sailors going home on leave in one of the biggest suicide attacks in Sri Lanka’s history.

The suicide bomb attack came one day after the Sri Lanka Navy prevented the LTTE from smuggling in a trawler full of explosives by sinking a a large trawler off the Western coast of Sri Lanka near Mannar.

Atleast another 120 naval soldiers going home unarmed on leave have been injured by the a Tamil suicide bomber who has been described by some as a long haired man with a dark complexion and who drove his white colored explosive laden truck at break neck speed before it struck the convoy of 14 buses. There had been no security barricades preventing any intruding vehicles entering the rendezvous point of the Navy buses, and the suicide truck entered the place without much difficulty.

Diganapathana, is described as a rendezvous point of military buses near Habarana in the Polonnaruwa District used by the navy for a long time, allowing anybody to watch the moving buses for a long time.

The explosion of the suicide truck was so severe the truck laden with plastic explosives used by the suicide bomber has been reduced to ashes with only pieces of iron wheels and rods.

The personal belongings like caps, bags of clothes were strewn all over the places and the buses were partly burnt and still smoking reporters who arrived there from nearby Polonnaruwa said.

Unlikely on previous occasions the Spokesman of the LTTE Irasiah Ilantheriyan did not deny the involvement of the LTTE in the suicide attack. He said the involvement of his group is a probability and he could not give exact details. He said without making inquiries from his group’s chain of command in the Eastern Province any exact statement could be made.

Defense Ministry sources said some of the navy personnel injured and killed were people going home from the naval base in Trincomalee and the others are people who were coming for duty from Colombo.

Immediately after the suicide attack, the government filled five buses of the dead and injured and transported them to Dambulla Hospital from where the seriously injured were airlifted to Kurunegala, kandy and Colombo hospitals.

Issuing a statement in New York, the Secretary General of the United Nations Koffi Annan’s office said, "The Secretary-General is alarmed by the upsurge of violence in Sri Lanka in the past several months, including today's appalling suicide bombing of a convoy of military buses. The Secretary-General deplores the escalation of violence. "

"The Secretary-General stresses once again that a return to civil war will not resolve the conflict. He calls upon all parties to refrain from the use of force and to return to the negotiation table at the end of this month, as tentatively agreed between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)."

- Asian Tribune -

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