Tamil Rebels Assassinate Sri Lanka’s President (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: A suicide bomber killed Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa during a May Day celebration.
The May Day Bombing
During the annual May Day rally, President Ranasinghe Premadasa died when a suicide bomber triggered an explosion. The blast killed Premadasa, the bomber, and twenty-two others who were watching or participating in the parade. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a rebel guerrilla group, were believed to be responsible for the killing, although they denied responsibility.
The bomber was Kumarakulasingham Weerakumar, a twenty-three-year-old member of the Tamil ethnic minority and a resident of Gurunagar, a small village in the LTTE-controlled Jaffna peninsula on the northern part of the island. He strapped explosives around his waist and rode a bicycle up to the vehicle carrying Premadasa. The bomb was triggered by a radio transmitter held in his hand as he pedaled the bicycle. Premadasa had stepped down from the vehicle shortly before Weerakumar approached him. The bomb killed both instantly.
Although the LTTE denied responsibility for the bombing, police believe that the group was behind it. The LTTE carried out a similar bombing in India in 1991, when a female suicide bomber presented former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi with a bouquet of flowers. A remote control device activated a bomb in the bouquet, killing Gandhi and those around him. In...
(The entire section is 883 words.)
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