Nearly 100 sailors killed in LTTE suicide attack
Barbaric act against unarmed Forces personnel
DIGAMPATHANA: Nearly one hundred sailors were killed and 116
including civilians were injured in a barbaric suicide attack by the
LTTE by driving an explosives-laden truck targeting hundreds of unarmed
Naval personnel at Digampathana on the Trincomalee-Habarana road.
"It was a transit point for changing over sailors going on leave and
those reporting to camps after leave. The sailors were resting before
boarding the buses when the suicide cadres drove in," a Navy official
describing the brutal attack said.
According to Navy sources they used Digampathana as a transit point
to give clearance for the Naval personnel coming from Colombo and
Trincomalee before boarding into the Navy convoys coming from both
"An explosives-laden Canter truck from the direction of Dambulla
exploded targeting those unarmed sailors going on leave and reporting
for duty around 1.30 pm," a senior Navy officer told the Daily News.
Around 70 sailors who received injuries in the explosion were rushed
to Matale and Dambulla hospitals and those who were in critical
condition were airlifted to Colombo National hospital by SLAF
helicopters. There were around 15 buses in the convoy. The blast
occurred around 1.30 p.m. when the suicide cadres in the Mitsubishi
Canter blew up their deadly cargo.
Navy sources said the transit point is changed frequently as a
security measure and Digampathana was chosen as yesterday's meeting
point of the convoys heading to and from Trincomalee.
Police and Army units which rushed to the spot immediately afterwards
began a cordon and search operation.
"There is no doubt that the LTTE is behind this savage attack. They
have now resorted to a truck bomb as effective surveillance led to the
discovery of many claymore mines and other ambush devices," the Navy
The Navy recently conducted several successful defensive operations
against the LTTE, including the sinking of a trawler believed to have
been carrying weapons off the Mannar coast on Sunday.
This is a clear manifestation that the LTTE is not interested in
resorting to the civilised way of solving the problems," Government
Defence Affairs spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.
"This is a very clear manifestation that the LTTE is not willing to
distance itself from their barbaric acts," the Minister added.
President vehemently condemns barbaric LTTE attack, expresses deepest
COLOMBO: The bomb attack by the LTTE terrorists targeting a convoy of
Navy vehicles at Habarana yesterday (16) has drawn the serious concern
of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a media release from the President's
The President immediately on hearing of the incident despatched a
team of Ministers and Government Officials to the scene to make an on
the spot assessment of the aftermath and take all necessary steps
promptly to deal with the situation, the release states.
All steps have been taken to provide immediate medical assistance
including medical officers to the hospitals where the victims were
admitted for treatment.
The President while conveying his deepest sympathies to the members
of the bereaved families urged the public to remain calm on this tragic
occasion. He emphatically states he would take every step to defeat
terrorism, the release added.