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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 22:33 GMT 23:33 UK
In pictures: Sri Lanka blast

Ambulance takes away the wounded

The army says a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber - pretending to be pregnant - detonated a bomb close to a car carrying Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka, the head of the army.

Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka

Hospital officials say that Lt Gen Fonseka had serious chest and abdomen injuries and remains in a serious condition. He has a reputation for taking a tough line against the rebels.

Ambulance takes away the wounded

Eight of the commander's bodyguards who escorted the car on motorcycles were killed on the spot, the police say, and several other people were injured.

Security forces after the blast

This is the first such attack in the Sri Lankan capital since July, 2004 and security forces all over the country are now on a maximum state of alert.

Lt General Fonseka's sister-in-law at the scene of the blast

Relatives of Lt Gen Fonseka in the compound after the attack.

Sri Lankan president Mahina Rajapakse at his residence in Colombo

The Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapakse, prepared to go on television to give his reaction to the bombings.

Sri Lankans watch the televised address of President Rajapakse

The president told Sri Lankans his government did not want war, but warned the rebels it would not be cowed by such attacks.

Security force member near the scene of the blast

Security forces have had to deal with Tamil Tiger suicide attacks since the late 1980s.

Colombo residents near peace talks poster

The Tigers last week pulled out of planned peace talks in Europe. Tuesday's attack puts the peace process under greater pressure, analysts say.


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