Five security men killed in bomb blast outside Colombo (Lead)

December 28th, 2008 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 28 (IANS) At least five Civil Defence Force personnel were killed and 13 wounded in a suspected suicide bomb explosion by the Tamil Tiger rebels on the outskirts of capital Colombo Sunday morning, defence sources here said. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the suicide explosion took place at a Civil Defence Force (CDF) post located near St. Ann’s Church at Wattala, Hekkita Road, lying 10 km north of here.

“The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) suicide cadre went inside the CDF post and exploded himself. One CDF officer and four CDF personnel on duty were killed,” Brigadier Nanayakkara said.

The Defence Ministry said that 13 people were injured in the blast. They have been rushed to the nearby Colombo and Ragama national hospitals.

Nanayakkara said that additional police and army personnel have sent troops to carry out clearing operations and investigations into the blast.

The suicide bomb explosion just outside Colombo has come at a time when the Sri Lankan troops have been locked in pitched battles with the rebels in the northern Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts over the past few weeks.

The troops advancing in several directions were said to be operating in the outskirts of LTTE’s political capital, Kilinochchi, lying 350 km north of here.

The Defence Ministry said Saturday that heavy clashes had taken place in the jungle district of Mullaitivu and its suburbs with the LTTE cadres making “desperate attempts to defend their main military bastion” from the advancing troops.

The LTTE has been fighting against the Sri Lankan government for a quarter century to carve out a separate state for Tamils in the northern and eastern parts of the island.

Thousands have died in escalating fighting since late 2005.

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