At the heart of a suicide attack in Sri Lanka

A raw video of the suicide attack that killed 15 people in Sri Lanka on Wednesday has been posted online. The cameraman captured images just a few metres from the explosion. Warning, some of the footage may be disturbing.

The suicide attack took place in front of a mosque in the village of Akuressa in the south of the country. The bomber targeted a march commemorating the Prophet Mohammed's birthday, in which several government figures were taking part. Fifteen people were killed and over thirty injured, including the ministers for communication and culture.  

The government blamed the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) for the kamikaze attack, describing it as a desperate attempt by the rebel movement, currently cornered in the northeast of the island by an army offensive, to get back at their aggressors.

As we mentioned in a previous post, the only images emerging from the conflict are those regulated by the Sri Lankan government. This video may also come from the same origins, broadcast via Sri Lankan television channels and the country's video sharing website, SriLankanTube. One of our Observers, a Tamil refugee who fled the country, reminds us to be wary of government manipulation.


"Why would they set off a bomb now?"

Thirupillai (not his real name) lived in Sri Lanka until he arrived as a refugee in France when he was 13.

Who's behind this attack? The government blames everything on the Tigers. But the LTTE is right now trying to convince the West to intervene in their favour in order to stop the fighting. So why would they set off a bomb now? Look at what happened when the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan was attacked - it was the Tigers who got blamed straight away and in the end the police admitted they had nothing to do with it. Right now, I don't think the rebels have either the want or the means to settle scores in this way."