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10 dead in Sri Lankan suicide blast

  • Story Highlights
  • Sources: Ten people killed, 90 wounded after explosion in Sri Lankan capital
  • Three-wheel scooter taxi loaded with explosives rammed a police riot squad vehicle
  • Most victims were riot squad members on duty for swearing-in ceremony
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From CNN's Iqbal Athas
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Ten people were killed and more than 90 wounded Friday when a Tamil Tiger suicide bomber rammed a motorcycle into a police riot squad vehicle in Sri Lanka's capital, police and army sources said.

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The aftermath of Friday's suicide bomb attack in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

Initial reports of an explosives-laden three-wheel scooter taxi hitting a bus were incorrect, the sources said.Most of the victims are members of the riot squad, the sources said. Eight police officers were among those killed, the sources said.

The attack happened less than 100 meters (110 yards) from the presidential secretariat in Colombo on Friday morning, the sources said.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa condemned the bombing as an "act of wanton savagery" and expressed his condolences to the victims' families.

"Repeated savagery of this order underlines and reiterates the need for concerted action by all those who cherish democracy, human rights and the values of civilized society, to eradicate the menace of terrorism of which the LTTE remains the bloodiest example today," Rajapaksa said, referring to the abbreviation for the Tamil Tigers' official name.
Video Watch the hospital staff tend victims of Sri Lanka blast »

The riot squad members were part of intensified security preparations for the swearing-in of the chief minister for the Eastern Provisional Council. Elections for the council -- the first since the army recaptured the Eastern Province in July from Tiger rebels -- were held Saturday.

A breakaway faction of the Tamil Tiger rebels, the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP, or Tamil People's Liberation Party), ran in the election with the ruling party of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

A TMVP official -- Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan -- also known as Pillayan -- was to be sworn in as chief minister.

Main opposition parties unhappy with the outcome of Saturday's election had planned a protest march outside the presidential secretariat, but scrapped those plans after the bombing.

The opposition parties say the polls were rigged and marred by violence.

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Sri Lanka's government had conducted the election in the east as another step to demonstrate democracy had returned to the troubled province.

Opposition parties had boycotted an earlier vote.

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