Contrary to what may be a popular belief, the use of women as suicide bombers did not begin after the US invaded Iraq or during a stage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It originated in the dark jungles of a remote island in the Indian Ocean, and it continues to this day. The Sri Lankan military has made many strategic gains against LTTE rebels in the island's civil war, but unfortunately, this type of violence may never go away.
Sri Lanka bomber 'kills dozens'
A female Tamil Tiger rebel has blown herself up, killing 28 people and injuring dozens more in the north-east, the Sri Lankan military says.
A military spokesman told the BBC the woman blew herself up as she travelled with civilians fleeing fighting.
He said 20 of those killed in the attack in the Vishwamadu area of Mullaitivu district were soldiers. The rebels have made no comment yet.
Thousands of civilians have fled the fighting over the past few days.
Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara told the BBC: "[The civilians] were coming to an area where there were security forces. A woman in that group blew herself up when she was being checked by female soldiers."
Brig Nanayakkara said 20 soldiers, including three women, were killed along with eight civilians. About 50 troops and 40 civilians, mostly women and children, were hurt, he said.
The injured, Brig Nanayakkara said, were being evacuated to hospitals in the area.
State television showed footage of the bodies of civilians lying on bloodstained ground in Vishwamadu.
The United Nations said it deplored the attack. Resident coordinator Neil Buhne said: "It's a blow for people who have suffered so much."
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