Unknown rebels attack Tamil lawmaker's home
Senathirajah Jeyananthamoorthy was at home when the grenade attack occurred and fortunately, escaped unhurt.india Updated: Jul 22, 2006 12:21 IST
Unidentified assailants fired two rocket-propelled grenades into the home of an ethnic Tamil lawmaker in Sri Lanka's volatile east, but the legislator and his family escaped unhurt, police said on Saturday.
Separately, a roadside bomb killed a Sri Lankan soldier and wounded three others in northern Jaffna on Saturday, the latest attack blamed by the military on separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
The victims were on a road-clearing patrol when the bomb exploded, military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said, blaming the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for the blast.
Lawmaker Senathirajah Jeyananthamoorthy was at home when the grenade attack occurred late on Friday in the eastern town of Batticaloa, Deputy Inspector General of Police Nihal Karunaratne said.
His house was damaged and a policeman providing security was slightly wounded, but Jeyananthamoorthy, his wife and two children escaped unhurt.
Jeyananthamoorthy is a member of the Tamil National Alliance, a political party widely believed to be a proxy of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels, who have been fighting for two decades for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority in the North and East.
Batticaloa is eastern Sri Lanka's main city. In 2004 parliamentary elections, the alliance — a coalition of minor Tamil political parties — won 22 seats, becoming a pro-rebel presence in Sri Lanka's 225-member Parliament.
A pro-rebel website, TamilNet, also reported the incident and blamed a breakaway rebel faction for the attack.
The rebel movement split in 2004 when a powerful insurgent leader in the east, who goes by the name Karuna, broke away with thousands of fighters.
The mainstream Tigers, who are based in northern Sri Lanka, the heartland of the country's Tamil minority, have vowed to crush Karuna's faction.
Since then, eastern Sri Lanka has been a hotbed of violence. A Norwegian-brokered truce halted large-scale fighting between the government and Tigers in 2002 but has virtually disintegrated in recent months, with near-daily skirmishes between rebels and security forces, renewing fears of a resumption of all-out civil war.