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Tamil Tigers targeted after MP's death

  • Story Highlights
  • Sri Lanka's air force intensifies bombing raids on rebel positions in the north
  • Fighter jets and helicopter gunships target Tamil Tigers a day after deadly bombing
  • Sri Lankan minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was among 14 dead in suicide blast
  • At least 83 people were wounded in attack targeting marathon race on Sunday
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From journalist Iqbal Athas
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Sri Lanka's air force intensified bombing raids on rebel positions Monday after a suicide attack killed a cabinet minister and 14 others, military officials said.

Fighter jets and helicopter gunships attacked rebel Tamil Tiger positions in northern Sri Lanka, according to military claims that could not independently verified.

The raids came a day after a suicide bomber exploded at the start of a marathon race outside the capital city Colombo, killing Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who was minister of highways and chief government whip in Parliament.

Fernandopulle was waving the starting flag for the race which was part of the Hindu New Year celebration in Weliveriya town, police said.

His body was brought to Parliament to lie in state, and a funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

The bombing killed 13 others and wounded 83, including 16 who police said were in critical condition.

It was the latest attack since the government's January withdrawal from a cease-fire with the Tamil Tigers. The rebel group has fought for an independent Tamil homeland in northern Sri Lanka for more than two decades.

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Nearly 200 people have been killed in a wave of attacks on buses, train stations and other public places since the start of the year.

Journalists are not allowed access to the battle areas in the north where Sri Lankan troops are engaged in bitter battles to regain rebel territory. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Sri LankaLiberation Tigers of Tamil EelamSuicide Attacks

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