Colombo blast kills two, injures nine(Second Lead)

June 1st, 2008 - 9:25 am ICT by admin  

Colombo, May 31 (Xinhua) At least two people were killed and nine injured in a hand grenade explosion in the Sri Lankan capital Saturday night, defence officials said. The officials said the blast took place at around 8 p.m. (1430 GMT) in a densely populated area along the major Galle road.

Two civilians were killed and nine injured in the blast. The injured ones were rushed to hospitals, the officials said.

No organisation has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, although the government usually attributes such attacks to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

The explosion came as the Ministry of Defence said Saturday that at least 26 LTTE rebels were killed and 23 wounded during the fighting in the northern battlefronts Friday.

The ministry said in a statement that four soldiers were also killed and 13 wounded Friday in the battles.

Having taken over the control of the Eastern Province last July, Sri Lanka’s security forces are currently battling the LTTE rebels in the north with the aim of crushing them before the end of 2008.

The LTTE has been fighting the troops since the mid-1980s to carve out a separate homeland for the Tamil minority in the north and east of the island nation. Since then, around 70,000 people have been killed in conflicts.

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