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Cablegate: Sri Lanka: Ltte Suicide Bomber Explodes Tractor

VZCZCXRO6313
OO RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #0496 0861058
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271058Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5765
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0304
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0001
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 6976
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5054
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3635
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0798
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3721
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1032
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2801
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7551
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5253
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0157
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1932
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000496

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER MOPS PGOV CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: LTTE SUICIDE BOMBER EXPLODES TRACTOR
NEAR ARMY BASE

REF: COLOMBO 494

1. (SBU) At 7:15 am on March 27, a LTTE suicide bomber
detonated a tractor with an attached trailer just outside the
entrance to Chenkalady Army camp near Batticaloa. Military
spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told us that the LTTE
initiated a mortar attack on the south side of Chenkalady
camp at 6:45 am in an apparent effort to draw military
personnel away from the gate where the suicide bomber would
attempt to enter. When the guards refused him entry, the
bomber detonated the vehicle outside the gate.

2. (SBU) According to Samarasinghe, three soldiers and five
civilians were killed in the blast. One solder, two
policemen and eighteen civilians, including two children,
were wounded. Police sources informed RSO staff that two of
the civilians wounded in the blast were members of the Eelam
People's Democratic Party (EPDP), an anti-LTTE Tamil group
with a significant paramilitary wing. The EPDP's local office
is located directly adjacent to the Chenkalady army base.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: This action, like yesterday's raid on
Katunayake Air Base, appears calculated to demonstrate that
the LTTE remains a potent threat and that the military is
vulnerable in areas it claims to have secured.
BLAKE

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