6TH LEAD

Bomb blast in Habarana targets SLN vehicles, 99 killed, 150 wounded

[TamilNet, Monday, 16 October 2006, 09:15 GMT]
A Canter vehicle with explosives blasted in an open space where more than 24 Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) vehicles and buses with more than 340 SLN troopers were parked, killing 99, around 1:40 p.m. Monday. At least 150 sailors were wounded in the attack, according to Sri Lanka military sources in Colombo. The attack took place near Digampatana junction in Habarana, a predominantly Sinhala area, 80 km southwest of Trincomalee. About 87 bodies are lying in Dambulla hospital.

Sri Lankan Government troops collect the weapons of sailors killed in the blast Habarana. (Photo: AFP)


69 sailors were killed on the spot. 13 succumbed to their wounds while being rushed to Dambulla hospital. 8 civilians, including drivers, were also killed in the explosion.

13 vehicles were damaged in the blast. 6 buses were completely destroyed and 7 other buses were badly damaged.

87 dead bodies were kept at Dambulla hospital, medical sources said. SLN troopers with serious injuries were airlifted to Colombo.

Injured navy personnel have been admitted to various hospitals including Kandy, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala and Colombo in critical condition.

The attack took place when more than 20 navy vehicles transporting naval troopers, from both directions to and from Trincomalee, were parked for lunch break.

The SLN troopers, on both directions, used to park their vehicles at the open space at Digampatana upto an hour for lunch.

Habarana, located 16 km west of Minneriya, where a Sri Lanka Army base is situated, is also a tourist site among the ancient city ruins and wildlife jungles in North Central Province.


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