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Tamil Minister escapes blast, 17 killed

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers killed 17 people in two bomb attacks in the capital Colombo on Wednesday, says the military.

world Updated: Nov 29, 2007 02:14 IST

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers killed 17 people in two bomb attacks in the capital Colombo on Wednesday, the military said, a day after the group's leader vowed the rebels would fight on for independence.



A woman suicide bomber killed a minority Tamil minister's aide in an attack on his office early on Wednesday. Hours later, a parcel bomb exploded near a shopping centre in a Colombo suburb, the latest in a series of attacks amid renewed civil war.



"There are 16 bodies in the hospital and 37 people wounded," said military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, referring to the second attack. "Both attacks were by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)."



Local TV channels showed residents in the suburb of Nugegoda removing the dead and body parts from the scene. Fire engines rushed to the scene to bring an ensuing blaze under control, a witness said.



In the first attack, a female suicide bomber blew herself up near the office of Douglas Devananda, minister for social welfare and a former militant who vocally opposes the rebels, killing his personal secretary.



He once fought alongside the Tigers before turning to politics in the 1980s and has escaped several assassination bids by the rebels.



The LTTE were not immediately available for comment on either attack.