Lanka violence: 3 policemen killed (Sri Lanka)

Suspected Tamil Tiger rebel attacks killed three policemen and left two soldiers missing on Sunday (June 18), the army said and rebels said they were attacked by government forces as a recent upsurge of violence continued.


If government estimates are correct that 25-30 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels were killed in a naval clash on Saturday, more than 100 people have died since Thursday, the worst violence since a 2002 ceasefire halted two decades of war.

Police said a police water tanker was hit when a claymore fragmentation mine exploded near the northern town of Vavuniya, just south of rebel territory. They blamed the Tigers for the attack.

"It was a claymore mine blast. It hit one of sergeants and two policemen were killed. After the incident, they have fired heavy weapons at our troops. When we replied the fire, they ran into the jungle," said police inspector Anura Ranasinghe.

The army said the Tigers fired on a foot patrol in the same area. The troops returned fire but two soldiers were missing in action. In another Vavuniya incident, two suspected rebels were arrested at a checkpoint but two others escaped.

Some 700 people have died so far this year, Nordic ceasefire monitors say, almost all of them since early April.

Von: 21.6.2006

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