Military bus bombed in Colombo : two dead
The nature of the attack in the capital has yet to be ascertained: police are investigating whether it was a suicide bomb or a remote controlled devise. At dawn the Tigers attacked a Naval base in the North, capturing arms and munitions.
Colombo (AsiaNews/Agenzie) – Tamil Tiger rebels blew up an army bus in Sri Lanka's capital, killing two soldiere, just hours after the guerrillas said they had also stormed a naval base and killed 35 sailors. The escalation in violence came days after the Tigers, who have been fighting for a separate state for 35 years, vowed they would never return to peace talks unless the government halted a military campaign against them.
Initial investigations suggested that a Tiger suicide bomber on a rigged motorcycle had rammed into the military vehicle, but a police spokesman said the bomb could have been detonated by remote control.
The attack came just hours after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) staged a pre-dawn raid on a strategic naval base at Delft, an islet off the northern Jaffna peninsula.
"During a search operation, we found 35 bodies of Sri Lankan sailors and weapons," Tiger spokesman Rasiah Ilanthiriyan told AFP by telephone from the rebel-held Wanni region.
Four rebels were killed in the operation, he said, adding the Tigers had captured weapons and munitions. The Sri Lankan military confirmed the rebel attack, saying the Tigers had used about 15 boats, including three so-called "suicide boats", but provided no details about casualties. Military sources put the number of navy casualties at "less than 10."
The Tigers' political wing on Sunday said a return to peace talks was out of the question if government attacks continued. Sri Lankan troops and Tamil rebels have been locked in combat following the breakdown of a 2002 Norwegian-arranged truce. Nearly 5,000 people have died in the past 18 months, and the 25-year long separatist conflict has claimed 60,000 lives.
Army issues ultimatum to Tamil Tigers