Tamils die in Sri Lanka blast (different number of victims, same incident)
June 7: At least nine Tamil civilians have been killed in a mine explosion in eastern Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels say.
Thirteen others were injured in the blast in rebel-held territory near Batticaloa, the rebels told the BBC.
The rebels have blamed the military for the explosion. A military spokesman denied the allegation.
The deaths come a day before rebels and government are to discuss security for truce monitors. Two months of violence have claimed more than 300 lives.
Rebel spokesman Daya Master said the security forces had planted the mine near Batticaloa. "It was an anti-vehicle mine," he told Reuters news agency. "The people were going on a tractor." The military denied its forces had been operating behind rebel lines.
"The security forces do not go into those areas," said army Prasad Samarasinghe told Reuters. "We totally reject these accusations." The two sides last held direct peace talks in February, but violence swiftly resumed. Suspected rebel attacks on security forces and killings of Tamils blamed on the army have soared in recent months. Scandinavian ceasefire monitors have accused both sides of violating a truce agreed in 2002.
This week's talks in Oslo, hosted by peace broker Norway, are due to cover only the security of monitoring mission staff in Sri Lanka, not wider peace issues. Observers do not expect any breakthrough, but say the fact the two sides are meeting is a positive move.
Von: 07.06.2006, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5055164.stm