Incident Summary:

04/20/2009: On Monday, militants began firing on civilians in the No Fire Zone with heavy machine guns, driving them towards a lagoon where three suicide bombers were waiting to attack them in Putumattalan, North Eastern, Sri Lanka. Seventeen civilians were killed and over 200 were injured, but no specifics were given as to whether they were killed by the gun fire or suicide bombers. The attack began at 0900 and ended at 1300. No group claimed responsibility, but the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are believed to be responsible.



Sri Lanka

South Asia

region/u.s. state:



Location Details:
The attack took place in Putumattalan.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Private Citizens & Property
Name of Entity
Specific Description Civilians
Nationality of Target Sri Lanka
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Suicide (carried bodily by human being)
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
Automatic firearms were used as well as three suicide bombers in this attack.
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
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) (suspected) No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 3
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 20 Fatalities / 200 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 20
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 3
Total Number of Injured 200
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
BBC Monitoring South Asia, "At Least 17 Killed in Sri Lanka Suicide Attack," LexisNexis Academic, Sri Lanka Ministry of Defense, Public Security, Law and Order, April 20, 2009.
South Asia Terrorism Portal, "Seventeen Civilians Killed and Over 200 Injured in LTTE Suicide Attacks Even as Troops Rescue 39081 Civilians Trapped Inside No Fire Zone," (April 21, 2009).