by Harischandra Gunaratna
Six died and more than twenty four civilians and
four Special Task Force (STF) personnel were injured when the
LTTE exploded a 10 Kg claymore mine targeting an STF truck 100
yards from the Belek Kade junction in Ratmalana around 5.45 p.m.
The Media Centre for National Security said nine
STF personnel, including a sub inspector had been in the truck
bound for Colombo, at the time of the attack.
The injured were rushed to the Kalubowila and
the Panadura hospitals. Among the dead were three women. They
succumbed to their injuries on admission to hospital. Some of
the victims were critically injured, the hospital sources said.
The bomb had been placed under the roof of two
wayside shops. According to military sources one of the shops
had been closed for more than 1 ½ years and some repairs had
been effected to it a few days ago.
The truck had been moving from the STF Training
School in Katukurunda to its camp in Gonahena, Kadawatha when
the explosion occurred.
A number of vehicles were damaged by the
explosion. Traffic on the Galle road had to be diverted via
other routes police said.
Bags, shoes and slippers were seen strewn on the
A massive search operation was mounted in the
area in the aftermath of the blast, but no arrests had been made
at the time this edition went to press.