Bomb targets train in Sri Lanka, 18 hurt
In the latest incident of violence in Sri Lanka, a train has been bombed in the country's capital today. Since the most recent campaign by the rebel Tamil Tigers group was started, dozens of civilians have died in bombings since the beginning of theyear. The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent state for the Northern part of the island, where the majority of people are ethnically Tamil. The Southern, majority part of the island is ethnically Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people havebeen killed in the fighting since it began more than two decades ago.
A bomb blast targeting a passenger train wounded 18 bystanders in Sri Lanka's capital Wednesday in the latest attack on civilians in the island nation.
Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack in the Wellawatte district of Colombo. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be contacted for comment.
The blast went off near railroad tracks just after a train passed. The train suffered only slight damage, but 18 people near the tracks were wounded, the military and a hospital official said.
The victims were admitted to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital for treatment, said Dr. Wilfred Kumarasinghe. All were in stable condition, he said.
Meanwhile, clashes Tuesday between government forces and the rebels in the island's restive north killed 17 rebels and wounded several soldiers, the military said.
The fighting broke out in the Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya fronts, it said in a statement.
It was not possible to verify the military report because reporters are not allowed into the war zone.