LTTE suicide bomber kills 72
sailors, injures 70
by Norman Palihawadena
An LTTE suicide cadre driving a truck loaded
with explosives, ploughed into a group of Naval personnel
gathered to board buses at Diganpathana, in Habarana yesterday
and triggered off an explosion killing 72 and injuring over 70.
The condition of some of the injured is said to be serious.
The truck was travelling from Dambulla. The
incident occurred at 1.45 pm. It had been the practice for the
Navy to change buses at Diganpathana. Naval personnel heading
towards the Trincomalee base and those returning to the South
from Trincomalee change into different buses at Habarana for
security reasons. The LTTE has chosen this place to carry out
Some Navel personnel had boarded the buses while
the rest were out when the explosion took place. Four buses were
also damaged in the explosion There were twelve buses there at
the time of explosion.
As this edition went to press the Navy was still
searching for survivors. The injured were rushed to Polonnaruwa,
Trincomalee, Dambulla and Habarana hospitals
Defence spokesman Minister Kheliya Rambukwella
said the LTTE would never give up terrorism and this incident
was the latest proof. However he was also of the view the Navy
should have been much more careful and not chosen the same place
over a period of time to change buses. Defence sources said
since the truck came from the direction of Dambulla it was not
A survivor said there was a small tea kiosk
nearby and he had gone there to have a cup of tea when he heard
the huge explosion
Security has been tightened in the area. This
incident occured at a time when the Japanese Special Peace envoy
Yasishi Akasi is in Sri Lanka.