A suicide bomber struck the offices of the opposition United National Party (UNP) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, Oct. 6, killing at least 27. Authorities blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The attack came as the military announced it is on the verge of capturing the Tigers’ headquarters at Kilinochchi. The blast killed local UNP head and retired army general Janaka Perera, who was attending an opening ceremony at the office. Perera, whose wife was also killed, was credited with major victories over the Tigers—including a 1996 battle in which 200 rebels were killed with the loss of just one soldier. But the UNP supports a negotiated settlement with the Tigers and says the current offensive is being used by the government for political ends. (AFP, Oct. 6)
Typically, civilian casualties from army attacks on LTTE-controlled territory in Sri Lanka’s north makes few international headlines. The pro-LTTE TamilNet reports that army aerial bombardment around Kilinochchi has caused an exodus of local inhabitants. More than 10 homes sheltering war orphans and the elderly have been relocated to interior villages of Wanni district. (The Hindu, Oct. 6)
See our last post on Sri Lanka.