Incident Summary:

05/16/2008: A male suicide bomber, Tamil Tiger rebel from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) drove his explosive-laden motorcycle into a bus carrying police officers of the riot squad, outside the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara temple at Colombo Fort in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The blast caused the death of 10 people (8 police officers and 2 civilians) and the injury of over 95 people including 62 civilians, 30 police officers and 3 army personnel. The blast which occurred on Lotus Road, a short distance from the temple, the Hilton Hotel, and the Presidential Secretariat office, damaged nearby buildings and vehicles. The incident "occurred just a few hours before the scheduled swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and other councilors."



Sri Lanka

South Asia

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
at Ceramic Junction and Lotus Road, at Colombo Fort in front of the Sri Sambuddhaloka Vihara temple, a short distance from the Hilton Hotel, and the Presidential Secretariat office

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Police
Name of Entity Sri Lanka Police
Specific Description police personnel working as part of the riot squad
Nationality of Target Sri Lanka
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity
Specific Description civilians
Nationality of Target Sri Lanka
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Vehicle
Weapon Details
suicide bomber on a motorcycle "bearing an eastern province number plate had been fitted with some seven kilograms of explosives"
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information The incident occurred at about noon. Other vehicles were badly damaged during the incident including another police vehicle, a few trishaws and a truck. The driver of Sports and Recreation Minister Gamini Lokuge was among the dead. The police personnel were to serve security in the area in a possible emergency related to a protest scheduled by the main opposition party.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 11 Fatalities / 95 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 11
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 95
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Highnoon Horror," Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka), May 17, 2008.
"10 killed in Fort explosion," Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka), May 17, 2008.
"Suicide bomb explosion near Sambuddhaloka temple ; 9 killed, over 95 wounded - Fort," Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence, May 16, 2008.