Death Toll Mounts in Sri Lankan Blast

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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: The death toll has reached 73 and 1,000 remain hospitalized after the truck bombing Wednesday that decimated Sri Lanka's central business district. Soldiers cordoned off the area as bulldozers cleared out the rubble and rescuers searched for survivors. TIME's Kendall Hopman reports from Colombo: "The rescue efforts were made very difficult by the clouds of smoke and a weak fire hydrant system. There wasn't enough water pressure to reach the higher floors in some of the buildings. The rubble also made reaching the injured difficult. The people on the street are in shock. The area that was hit is considered the best-guarded area in the city. Many prominent buildings were damaged, including some of the city's best hotels. Nobody has claimed responsibility, but it is certain that it was the Tamil rebels. We knew a major attack would happen after the government forces overtook Jaffna, the rebels' seat of power last December. There will be pressure on President Chandrika Kumaratunga to increase military operations in the northern part of the country. But that might not be enough. The rebels have the manpower and capability to stage more attacks. And I expect them to."