Nine people, including two soldiers, four anti-LTTE Tamil militants and three civilians, were reportedly killed and 18 civilians were seriously injured, when the LTTE carried out a suicide attack on the Komanthurai army camp, near Chengalady, in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Tuesday.
The Sri Lankan Army said that a tractor laden with 200 kg of explosives had tried to crash through the barriers of the camp at around 6.50 am.
Among the dead were four cadres of the pro-government Eelam Peoples' Democratic Party (EPDP), the LTTE said. EPDP is part of the Mahinda Rajapaksa government in Colombo.
After the incident, troops in Batticaloa closed all the roads going through Chengalady, and launched a limited operation to clear some LTTE-controlled areas in Vavunathivu. The LTTE had fired mortars from here earlier.
On Monday, there were rumours in Batticaloa that following the air strike against the Sri Lankan Air Force base in Colombo, the LTTE would attack army installations in Batticaloa district.
Batticaloa district is dotted with army camps and checkpoints. Chengapady is one of the most heavily guarded areas.
On Monday, the LTTE had launched its first ever air strike killing three airmen and injuring 16 other servicemen at the Katunayake airbase, north of Colombo, giving a new and dangerous dimension to the war in Sri Lanka.