13 killed in Ampara Town Cafe blast
AMPARA: Eleven persons were killed and 29 others injured when a
parcel bomb ripped through an eatery in Ampara yesterday evening.
The blast at the City Cafe Hotel near the Ampara Clock tower occurred
at around 5.40 pm barely hours prior to the commencement of voting at
today’s Eastern Provincial Council Elections.
According to Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara the
cowardly act was a clear intention by certain elements to sabotage the
smooth conduct of the poll.
“This attack aimed at innocent civilians was a heinous act to derail
the Eastern Provincial Council Election which will pave the way for the
restoration of democracy in the Province,” the Brigadier said.
He said the LTTE has degenerated to such a low level in carrying out
isolated attacks to sow panic among the people.
According to Police spokesman senior DIG N.K. Illangakoon, the second
floor of the hotel collapsed and the adjacent buildings were badly
damaged due to the explosion. “Two women were among the dead,” he added.
The Government Analyst was present at the scene to collect samples of
the debris to verify the type of the bomb.
It has been reported that the Cafe was frequented by senior
politicians involved in electioneering from yesterday morning.
A Police official told the Daily News on condition of anonymity that
the damage could have been worse and the loss of lives more had the bomb
exploded in the night.
At the time this edition went to press, Security Forces personnel
were yet to establish if the target of the bomb was in fact a VIP. The
security in the area was beefed up in the wake of PC election and
additional police and Security Forces personnel deployed in the City at
the time of the explosion.
The Army and the Police immediately cordoned off the area and
conducted a search operation.
Meanwhile, Housing and Common Amenities Minister Ferial Ashraff
refuted a news item appearing on a website that the bomb was aimed at
“I was in Kalmunai and know nothing of the bomb blast,” she said.
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