COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A suicide bomber blew himself up near an election rally of the governing Peoples' Alliance in a northeastern town Thursday, killing himself and 12 others, the military and police said.

Another 45 people were wounded, some of them critically, police said.

``Reports are sketchy. What we have is that there has been an explosion and 12 people are dead,'' military spokesman Brig. Sanath Karunaratne told The Associated Press.

An officer in the Police Control Room in Colombo said the attack was carried out by a male bomber. He cannot be named under briefing regulations.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Medawachchiya, a town 120 miles northeast of Colombo.

But the police officer said the attack bore the hallmark of the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Parts of this small island nation off India's southern tip are affected by Tamil separatist violence. The rebels demand a homeland for the country's 3.2 million minority Tamils, saying they face discrimination in a country where Sinhalese account for 14 million of 18.6 million people.

Voting for Sri Lanka's parliamentary elections is scheduled for Oct.10.