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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 January 2007, 10:46 GMT
Bomb hits second Sri Lankan bus
Wrecked bus
The incident was the second in two days
A bomb has exploded on a crowded bus in south-western Sri Lanka killing at least 15 people and injuring dozens.

Police say the incident took place near the tourist resort of Hikkaduwa, south of the capital Colombo.

The attack comes a day after a similar incident which killed six people on a bus north-east of Colombo.

Tamil Tigers rebels have been blamed for the attacks, though they deny any responsibility and say they condemn the killing of innocent civilians.

Sri Lanka map

Police suspect a female suicide bomber carried out the latest attack.

Earlier on Saturday, three bomb blasts were reported in the north of the country, one of which killed four soldiers and a civilian.

The incident occurred when a roadside bomb exploded near a truck transporting troops in the northern district of Vavuniya.

Meanwhile, in the east of the country, the government is trying to capture some areas now under Tamil Tiger control.

The BBC's Roland Buerk in Colombo says both sides are supposed to be observing a ceasefire, but the agreement has been left in tatters by fighting in which more than 3,500 people were killed last year.

Aftermath of the bus bombing

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