Female Tamil Tiger bomber kills 28 after hiding among refugees
A female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed at least 28 people and wounded 90 this morning as soldiers searched a group of civilians fleeing Sri Lanka's northeastern conflict zone, according to the Army.
The bomber blew herself up while she was being frisked for weapons near Vishvamadu, a town recently captured by the Army as it edges towards a conventional military victory over the Tigers. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a spokesman for the military, said the blast killed two officers, 18 other soldiers, and eight civilians.
State television footage of the bomb site showed several civilians - including a child in a purple dress - lying lifeless on blood-stained ground among overturned plastic chairs.
The attack has raised fears that the Tigers may resort to further suicide attacks - a tactic they pioneered over the last 25 years of civil war - now that they have lost their air force, navy and heavy artillery.
It also highlights the problems facing the Government as it tries to comply with international demands to allow civilians to leave the conflict zone while protecting its own forces and preventing Tigers from escaping.
A year-long military campaign has now pinned the rebels down in a 67-square mile patch of jungle in the north-eastern district of Mullaittivu, along with an estimated 250,000 mostly Tamil civilians. The Red Cross has warned of a serious humanitarian crisis in the area, and several foreign governments - led by the United States and Britain - have called for a ceasefire to allow the civilians to leave the area.
|It's the problem every government faces when dealing with terrorism. The terrorists have no qualms using splodydopes. This is Sri Lanka, so I expect the government to have a vigorous response.|
The government rejected those calls last week, accusing the Tigers of using civilians as human shields, an allegation denied by the rebels who say the civilians do not want to leave because they are afraid of the Army.
|So that they can blow themselves up on the Lankans ...|
Today, however, the Government said that the number of civilians fleeing the conflict zone had picked up in the last few days, with a total of at least 17,300 leaving since Thursday.
The rebels usually deny involvement in any attacks that kill civilians, but they have been accused of carrying out more than 200 suicide attacks over the course of Asia's longest running civil war. Listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and India, they are credited with inventing the suicide jacket and the culture of martyrdom surrounding the suicide bomber.
Posted by: tipper 2009-02-09