An LTTE suicide bomber operation was interrupted by police when civilians spotted LTTE rebels hiding in the bushes near parliament. Police at a nearby roadblock were alerted, and when three went to investigate, all three were shot dead by the rebels. More police showed up shortly and a gun battle developed as the eight heavily armed LTTE rebels began shooting at police and passing motorists in the heavily trafficked area in the center of the capital. During this fight, two rebels were shot dead and another died by detonating the explosives he was wearing. The other five rebels shot their way out by firing on the bumper to bumper traffic, creating a traffic jam and making their way to a nearby apartment building while taking cover behind stalled cars. Once inside the building, the rebels held off police into the night. Over twenty people were killed during the gunfight and over fifty were injured.