17 killed in Sri Lanka suicide blast (Lead)

April 20th, 2009 - 2:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, April 20 (Xinhua) At least 17 civilians were killed Monday morning in a suicide attack by the Tamil Tigers in the no fire zone (NFZ) in the island’s north, the military said.
The defence ministry said the attack took place when troops tried to rescue about 10,000 civilians from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the less than 20 sq km NFZ area at Puttumatalan.

The government says that 120,000 people live in the area that the LTTE still controls. More than 70,000 people have died in Sri Lanka’s civil war since 1983.

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