The Colombo Central Bank bombing in 1966 was a significant event in the history of Sri Lanka, as it was the first major act of terrorism carried out by the separatist group known as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Bombing left nearby structures damaged
A truck filled with 440 pounds of high explosives drove into the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, which managed much of the country's financial operations. The building was severely damaged, along with eight other nearby structures, when the suicide bomber detonated the bomb.
The attack resulted in 91 deaths and 1,400 injuries, with many losing their sight and most of the casualties being bystanders or shopkeepers. The bombers were later determined to be LTTE members from Jaffna. This bombing, along with another in July that killed over 70 people, caused a 40% decrease in tourism in Sri Lanka. Until 2006, it was the deadliest LTTE bombing of the civil war.
Eleven members of the Tamil Tigers were indicted
Although the Tamil Tigers denied responsibility, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry blamed them, stating that the attack showed a disregard for international opinion and the safety of innocent civilians, including foreigners.
Eleven members of the Tamil Tigers were charged in connection with the bombing of the Central Bank in Colombo, with ten of them facing a total of 712 counts, including charges for murder, destruction of state property, and inciting violence. In 2002, Judge Sarath Ambepitiya issued a warrant for the arrest of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader of the LTTE, in connection with the 1996 bombing. The judge found Prabhakaran guilty on 51 counts and sentenced him to 200 years in prison.
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