Sri Lanka Defence Secretary escapes suicide attack

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Friday, December 1, 2006

The Sri Lankan Defence Secretary, Gothabaya Rajapakse narrowly escaped a suicide attack from suspected Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. The attack took place in downtown Colombo, the Sri Lankan Capital at 10:30 a.m., as a convoy carrying the Defence Secretary and other officials was attacked by a suspected terrorist in a three wheeler.

Early reports indicate that Gothabaya, brother of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse and vocal critic of the LTTE, escaped unscathed, while at least 2 people have died and 14 others were injured, including 5 civilians.

While the LTTE has yet to claim responsibility for the latest strike, the militant separatist group, proscribed as a terrorist organisation in countries such as the United States, England, India, Australia and the E.U., has yet to do so for any of the suicide attacks attributed to them throughout their history. In 2006 alone the group has been accused of carrying out suicide attacks on unarmed Sri Lankan servicemen in Habarana and on a naval base in the tourist city of Galle, as well as failed attempts on the lives of Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka and Pakistani Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Bashir Wali Mohamed.

The latest suicide attack comes just days following a declaration from LTTE leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, that the Norway brokered ceasefire agreement with the Sri Lankan government was ‘defunct’.