Twin blasts in Lanka ahead of Japanese envoy's visit | india | Hindustan Times
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Twin blasts in Lanka ahead of Japanese envoy's visit

It was not immediately known who was behind the attacks in Vavuniya, which is abut 210 kms north of the capital, Colombo.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 18:05 IST

Twin explosions in a northern town killed two neighborhood guards and wounded 14 others on Thursday as officials announced a visit by a Japanese peace envoy aimed at easing tensions that have pushed Sri Lanka to the brink of civil war.

In the first blast in the garrison town of Vavuniya, two guards were killed and two wounded when the group of four guards were cycling home after night duty, the area's senior police officer Jagath Abeysirigunawardena said.

A second explosion rocked the city's central district hours later, wounding at least 12 people, including two policemen.

Ten civilians and two police officers were brought to the area's main hospital, said HM Jayathilake a local police officer. He said there were more injured being taken to the hospital.

It was not immediately known who was behind the attacks in Vavuniya, which is abut 210 kilometres north of the capital, Colombo, and is the last government-held town before territory controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Recent violence - including two days of government airstrikes against Tamil rebel bases late last month following a suicide attack by a suspected rebel on the army's Colombo headquarters - have pushed a four-year-old cease-fire between the government and Tigers to its limits.

Also today, Japanese officials in Tokyo said that Japanese envoy Yasushi Akashi will met Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and other government officials during his four-day stay starting on Saturday.