LTTE Lunatics Explodes Massive Truck Bomb in Central Colombo

 

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LTTE Tamil terrorists exploded a massive truck bomb and opened fire on civilians with machine guns in Colombo's business district, killing at least 14 people in another one of those sickening terrorist attacks the LTTE terrorists carry out from time to time on the civilian population.

Hospital officials said at least 96 people, including 32 foreigners, were wounded in the explosion, which sent shards of glass and other debris flying over a wide area. At one point about 20 people were trapped in a government newspaper building where three suspected Tamil Tiger gunmen fled after the blast. They were later freed by troops and the three terrorists were killed.

 

The casualty figures could have been much higher if offices and financial markets had not been closed for a national holiday, but lets make no mistake about this - these terrorists exploded the bomb on a holiday because of the relaxes security on a public holiday, not out of sympathy for civilians.

 

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The worst violence to hit Colombo in recent years was in January 1996, when a terrorist bomb brought down a huge section of the Central Bank building, killing 100 people. Police and hospitals said 14 people had died in Wednesday's bomb attack and subsequent fighting -- nine civilians including one Buddhist priest and five terrorists. Police said six employees of the Galadari Hotel were killed when the truck bomb exploded in the hotel car park.

The casualty figures could have been much higher if offices and financial markets had not been closed for a national holiday, but lets make no mistake about this - these terrorists exploded the bomb on a holiday because of the relaxes security on a public holiday, not out of sympathy for civilians.

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The worst violence to hit Colombo in recent years was in January 1996, when a terrorist bomb brought down a huge section of the Central Bank building, killing 100 people. Police and hospitals said 14 people had died in Wednesday's bomb attack and subsequent fighting -- nine civilians including one Buddhist priest and five terrorists. Police said six employees of the Galadari Hotel were killed when the truck bomb exploded in the hotel car park. explo6_sm.jpg (10948 bytes)
Reuters correspondents said two bodies, believed to be those of terrorists, were lying near the hotel after pitched gunbattles with security forces. A security guard at the Galadari Hotel, A. Mohammed, told Reuters: "I came out to see and there was this lorry in the car park surrounded by about four or five armed people with bullet belts strapped around their bodies. "I quickly ran in and asked the people in the hotel to get out. Within five minutes there was an explosion." explo_soldier.jpg (10851 bytes)
 

The battles shifted to Lake House, a government publishing house about 300 yards from the Hilton Hotel, and elsewhere. Air force officials said three guerrillas had retreated to the building, which houses the state-run newspaper and where 20 civilians were trapped. There was intermittent firing from there for some hours, then silence, followed by an official statement the three guerrillas had been killed.

Despite denials from its lying spokesman Anton Rajah in London, few around the world doubted the LTTE was to blame for the attack.

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The bomb exploded around 7 a.m. (0100 GMT), making a crater 20 ft wide and 10 ft deep and destroying about 30 vehicles. Military officials said terrorists had jumped out of the truck in the hotel car park before the blast and fired at security forces with automatic weapons and shoulder-launched rockets. Shooting went on for hours after the blast as troops tried to flush out pockets of terrorists hiding in nearby buildings and beneath road level where a railway runs under a bridge.

Doctor Terence De Silva, director of the National Hospital of Colombo, said 96 injured people were brought to the hospital, 32 of whom were foreigners. The foreigners were five British, five Japanese, four Singaporeans, five French, two Jordanians, two Australians and one each from Cuba, Lebanon, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, the United States, Sweden and the Netherlands.

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Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga said on Wednesday that a big bomb blast that ripped through central Colombo will not derail her efforts to end the country's 14-year civil war. "I condemn this inhuman bomb explosion carried out by a terrorist organization in Colombo this morning," Kumaratunga said in a statement issued in Sinhalese. Kumaratunga, whose office was also damaged in the blast, said calm had returned to Colombo and security forces had the situation under control. " ...We have reached the final stage of finding a long term solution to the country's ethnic crisis and end the war," she said, adding that those who carried out the attack were against peace. "The inhuman terrorists have carried out such cowardly attacks before as well. I like to declare with confidence that such acts will not undermine our commitment to peace."

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This attack demonstrates that no civilized nation which allows free movement of people can protect its citizens against a determined group of terrorists hell bent on causing death and damage at any cost. These terrorists are funded and armed by foreign money which is only made possible by western countries not taking action to close down LTTE offices and ban fund raising for these terrorists. Civilians in Sri Lanka are paying with their lives for the blind eye western governments are turning to these terrorists. United States has taken the lead by labeling the LTTE as a terrorist organization, now its up to rest of the western nations wake up and ban these terrorists.


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