Explosion Kills Sri Lankan School Children
(VOA) — An
explosion ripped apart a bus carrying school children in rural Sri Lanka
and authorities say it appears to have been a Tamil Tiger attack. The
blast killed at least 23 people and injured nearly 70 others.
A bomb or
land mine planted on the side of a rural road is believed to
have caused the explosion Wednesday morning in a remote town
in southeastern Sri Lanka.
The bus was
carrying scores of school children, many of whom were killed
came just hours after the official end of a truce between the
government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,
known as the Tamil Tigers.
Hulugalle, director-general of the government’s Media Center
for National Security, says the rebels have targeted civilians
in government-held areas after being routed by the military
in their northern stronghold.
when they can’t face the (military) forces and when they have
had heavy defeats in the northern area, this is to make uncertainty
in the southern part of Sri Lanka, including the capital," he
Lanka’s military has begun a new offensive in an effort to
crush the rebellion, the Tamil Tigers appear ready to continue
suicide attacks and other bombings against government and civilian
Hulugalle in the capital says there is no way the government
can fully protect people from terrorist attacks.
there is guerrilla warfare going on and this is not face to
face (combat) they can make use of these tactics, especially
when they have suiciders (suicide bombers). When they make
use of various areas, no country, no leader can give assurances
or a guarantee on a thing like this," he said.
brokered by Norway in 2002 began collapsing two years ago.
Since the government told Norwegian officials two weeks ago
that it would end the peace pact, the military reports more
than 300 people have been killed on the front lines in the
is fighting for a homeland in northeastern Sri Lanka for the
nation’s ethnic Tamil minority. About 70,000 people have died
in the conflict since 1983.
envoy Yasushi Akashi, a key figure throughout the years of
peace negotiations, warns of "dire humanitarian consequences" with
the end of the cease-fire.
Japan might halt its aid to Sri Lanka if the government does
not do something to reduce the fighting.