Flash! 12 Killed in Suicide Bomb Attack at Marathon in Sri Lanka

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A suicide bomber, dressed as a marathoner, killed 12 people, including a Sri Lankan Minister and a 1992 Olympic marathoner this morning.

Politics and sports has been part of global sports for some time. The 1972 killing of Isreali athletes in Munich took politics to a gruesome conclusion. This is thought to be the first time such a horrific thing has happened in a marathon.

Runblogrun.com still believes that sports is supposed to be an activity that brings us together, and does not condone the blatant politicization of sports. This type of message does do honor to any cause. The dead and their families are in our thoughts and prayers.

TRACK PROFILE Report #736
06-Apr-2008

12 KILLED IN SUICIDE BOMB ATTACK AT MARATHON IN SRI LANKA

By Ram. Murali Krishnan and Bob Ramsak
(c) 2008 TRACK PROFILE Report, all rights reserved

A Sri Lankan minister and 11 others, including an Olympic marathoner were killed in a suicide bomb attack this morning at the start of a marathon near Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the Minister of Highways and Road Development, Kuruppe A. Karunartne, a member of the 1992 Olympic team, and Lakshman de Alwis, a Sri Lankan national coach were among those killed when the bomb exploded.

Posing as a runner, the bomber, suspected to be a Tamil Tiger separatist rebel, triggered the explosive as Fernandopulle was preparing to flag off the race. At least 100 others were injured in the attack, according to agencies.

The event, organized as part of national Sinhalese New Year celebrations, was held in Weliweraya, about 20 km from the Sri Lankan capital.

Karunaratne, 47, competed in the marathon at the 1992 Olympic Games and 1993 World Championships, and won back-to-back South Asian Federation Games marathon titles in 1991 in Colombo and 1993 in Dhaka, before finishing fifth in 1995 in Madras. In 1991 he also won the 10,000m title.

“The IAAF utterly condemns this outrage,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack in a statement on the world governing body’s website. “To target those innocently involved in a sporting event is reprehensible. Our thoughts and prayers go to the bereaved families.”

Explosions have occurred at sporting events in the past in and near Colombo, but this marked the first time that lives were lost.

ENDS

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END – TPR #736 - 06-Apr-2008

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