Army chief hurt, Tigers strafed | india | Hindustan Times
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Army chief hurt, Tigers strafed

THE SRI Lankan military launched air strikes on LTTE bases in the eastern part of the country on Tuesday. This came hours after a suicide bomber attacked the army headquarters in Colombo, critically injuring the chief, and the Tigers shelled the naval base in Trincomalee. The fragile truce between the Tigers and the government has taken a blow even as the Norwegian mediators were trying to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 01:20 IST

THE SRI Lankan military launched air strikes on LTTE bases in the eastern part of the country on Tuesday. This came hours after a suicide bomber attacked the army headquarters in Colombo, critically injuring the chief, and the Tigers shelled the naval base in Trincomalee. The fragile truce between the Tigers and the government has taken a blow even as the Norwegian mediators were trying to bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

The air force, army and navy jointly attacked the LTTE-controlled regions in Sampur. Sources in Trincomalee said Kfir fighters bombed the area in five sorties between 5.45 p.m. and 6.25 p.m. Ten minutes later, the army began shelling. A naval gunboat also joined in.  Palitha Kohona, director-general of the government's Peace Secretariat, said the attack was in retaliation to the shelling on the naval base.

The sequence of events of Sri Lanka's terrible Tuesday began in the afternoon at the high-security military base in Colombo. A suicide bomber pretending to be pregnant blew herself up before the convoy of army chief, Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka, critically injuring him and killing eight people, including five bodyguards.

Twenty-nine were injured in the blast, the biggest since the ceasefire agreement came into force in 2002

Though the Tigers did not claim responsibility for the attack on Fonseka — who had called for a tough stance against them in peace talks — the police said it bore the stamp of an LTTE strike.