A bombhas ripped through a bus being searched by soldiers at a military checkpoint ineastern
Militarysources blamed Monday's attack in the eastern district of Amparaon Tamil Tigers, but the separatist group have deniedinvolvement.
| || |
"Thebomb was planted inside the bus. The dead included 10 women, two children andthree men - one of those a policeman and another soldier," a member of thepolice commando Special Task Forces said.
| || |
BrigadierPrasad Samarasinghe, a military spokesman, said that the bus was near the townof
The bushad stopped at a military checkpoint and most of the passengers descended fromthe bus while troops searched the vehicle.
As thesoldiers were carrying out their search the bomb exploded, Samarasinghe said.
TheTigers denied involvement in the attacks, saying they suspected the governmentor a splinter group of former rebel comrades called the Karuna faction, whichanalysts say are helping the military.
N. Selvy,a spokeswoman for rebel humanitarian issues, said: "We deny thisallegation. The LTTE has never targeted civilians during the ceasefireagreement period".
Selvywas referring to a 2002 peace pact - which is now dead on the ground.
"Thisbus blast has happened near a Sri Lankan army checkpoint. There are severalforces working aginst the LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam]. In the eastthere is the Karuna faction, or maybe it's the Sri Lankan army trying todiscredit us by killing civilians."
Sheaccused troops of ruining ethnic Tamil farmland in Ampara in a separateincident by destroying a reservoir and flooding surrounding paddy fields.
Amparawas the scene of bitter fighting last month between government forces and therebels as the army fought to oust the rebels from bases they hold in the east.
There wasno immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.
TheLiberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels have been fighting thegovernment since 1983 to create an independent homeland after decades ofdiscrimination by the Sinhalese-dominated state.
TheTamils are a 3.1 million-strong minority living mostly in the north andeast of the island. At least 69,000 people have died in the violence.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16