Related News

Home » World

Explosion kills 10, injures 20 including minister in Sri Lanka

Ten people were killed while 20 others including a government minister were injured today morning in a suicide explosion blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels in southern Sri Lanka, defense officials said.

Officials from the Defense Ministry said an LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eealm) suicide bomber attacked the Jumma mosque at Godapitiya, in Akurassa, in the Matara district around 11 a.m. local time (0530 GMT).

Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said 10 civilians were killed while 20 others including Post and Telicommunication Minister Mahinda Wijesekar were injured in the explosion in Matara,about 160 km south of the capital Colombo.

Nanayakkara said Wijesekara suffered head injuries and was initially treated in a hospital in Matara. The local newspaper Daily Mirror reported on its website that the injured minister will be airlifted to capital Colombo for further treatment shortly.

The newspaper reported that former Southern Province Chief Minister H. G. Sirisena was also among the injured.

Defense sources said another 15 people with injuries have been admitted to the government hospital in Matara.

A special team of doctors have been airlifted to Matara at the request of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, the spokesman said.

He said the LTTE suicide bomber was also killed in the explosion, but it is not clear whether the bomber was a male or female.

The suicide bomber targeted the Islam devotees attending the national Milad-Un-Nabi celebration, held at the mosque which was attended by several ministers and a large number of civilians, the military said.

The Milad-un-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed is celebrated as a national festival in Sri Lanka.

The explosion came as the government says its military offensive against the LTTE is at final stage as the rebel organization has been cornered in a small area of just about 40 sqkm in the northern Mullaittivu district.

The troops recaptured most of the LTTE's 15,000 sq km territories in successive military victories since 2006.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of Sinhalese majority governments, the LTTE began its armed struggle in the 1980s to setup an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east, resulting in the killing of more than 70,000 people.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend