Sri Lanka
Seven killed, 26 injured in Sri Lanka blast
Apr 7, 2007 - 3:37:30 PM

Colombo, April 7 - Seven people were killed and 26 were injured in a Claymore mine attack against a civilian bus in northern Sri Lanka Saturday morning, said the military.

The roadside Claymore mine attack was carried out by suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Tigers - members on the northern Vavuniya-Mannar Road around 7:30 a.m. local time -, defence officials said.

Among the killed were six civilians and one Army soldier, officials said, adding that all the injured were civilians.

A police spokesman said that it is the practice of the local defence officials to check the road for Claymore mines set up by LTTE rebels targeting security personnel.

The civilian passenger bus owned by the government had departed ahead of such a road check.

This was the second bus explosion in which civilians were affected this week.

The government has cautioned the general public of possible LTTE attempts to disrupt the upcoming sinhala Tamil New Year that falls mid-April in the backdrop of military setbacks suffered by them in the north and east.

'The government is requesting the general public to be cautious of suspicious persons or activities especially at crowded places, inside buses and trains during the upcoming festive season,' said the government in a statement.

On April 2, at least 16 civilians were killed while 26 others were injured in a bus explosion blamed on the Tamil Tiger rebels in Eastern Province.

More than 4,000 people have been killed since December 2005 despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place.

The LTTE has been fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's 12.5 percent Tamil minority since the 1970s.

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