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At Least 98 killed in Sri Lanka Blast - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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COLOMBO (AFP) -Suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bombers killed at least 98 pepole and wounded 150 when they drove a truck packed with explosives into buses full of sailors in northeast Sri Lanka, officials have said.

The truck exploded at a transit point for security personnel going on leave and those returning to their posts in the restive district of Trincomalee, officials said Monday.

“We have the bodies of 98 sailors and 120 others are being treated here,” said Kanchana Perera, a doctors at the nearby Dambulla hospital.

More than 30 others were taken to two other hospitals, officials said.

The defence ministry said there were 340 sailors waiting for transport when the blast occured.

“The naval convoy comprising of 24 buses was at the Digampatana rendezvous point at the time of the attack,” the ministry said in a statement.

“Over 340 unarmed Naval personnel who were both going on leave and reporting back to duties were believed to be present at the location.”

Police said 15 buses were hit by the explosion with two of them taking the full impact of the powerful blast.

There was no immediate reaction from the Tigers. Suicide bombings are a trademark of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who are fighting for independence in the island’s north-east.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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