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Sri Lanka Suicide Blast Kills Opposition Chief, 21 Others

Sri Lanka police say a suicide bomber killed an opposition leader and at least 21 other people Monday in the north-central town of Anuradhapura.

Police say the bomber attacked during a ceremony to open the new office of the main opposition United National Party. UNP's leader, former army general Janaka Perera and his wife, were among the dead.

Saturday, Sri Lankan military officials said their forces killed at least 27 Tamil Tiger rebels, as the army continued to press into rebel strongholds in the north.

Nine soldiers were also killed during Saturday's fighting, which was especially heavy in the rebels' administrative capital, Kilinochchi.

Sri Lanka's government said the military was close to capturing Kilinochchi.

Rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil minority for 25 years. They say the Sinhalese majority discriminates against ethnic Tamils.

An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in the civil war.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.