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Female LTTE bomber blows herself up, 24 killed

February 09, 2009 14:50 IST

A suicide Tamil Tiger female bomber blew herself up killing 24 people, including several soldiers and wounding 45 civilians, at a checkpoint in the war-torn northern Sri Lanka [Images] on Monday.

The bomber, with explosives strapped on her body, blew herself up as she was to go through a checkpoint meant for Tamil civilians who have crossed over from rebel-held lines.

"The suicide cadre had apparently targeted the Security Forces but the explosion killed some civilians and a few soldiers," the army said.

The dead and injured civilians were amongst those arriving in special 'safe zones' created by the Army for trapped Tamil civilians. According to a military spokesman, so far 17,000 out of an estimated 250,000 people have come over to 'safe zones'.

The suicide bomber blew herself up when she was being frisked along with people fleeing the war zones near Sundarapuram in Visuamadu at around 11.30 am, the army said.

This was the first major suicide attack in Sri Lanka in a month, though last week government forces claimed to have thwarted several such attempts on the battlefront near Mullaittivu.
 
Initial reports put the figure at 24 dead and 45 injured. The exact figures of casualties, however, are yet to be estimated as tension prevailed in the area.

Security forces immediately cordoned off the area, while medical units were rushed to the site. Women and children are believed to be among the victims, the defence ministry sources said.

The wounded were taken to the Kilinochchi hospital.

A 13-year-old suicide bomber was used against advancing troops in Chalai near Elephant Pass on February four, but the attack was averted.




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