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Lanka's mine blast kills two cops as US condemns truce violence

Written by: Staff
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Colombo, Apr 12 (UNI) At least two policemen were killed and two more seriously injured in a claymore mine explosion this morning in the eastern port city of Trincomalee district.

With this incident, the death toll in mine blasts in North East region in the past couple of days has gone up to 22.

According to the army sources,''A police jeep travelling from Kumburupitti to the Trincomalee town got caught in a LTTE claymore mine this morning killing two policemen on the spot and seriously wounding two more." The injured have been admitted in the Trincomalee base hospital, they added.

This is the third claymore mine attack against the government security forces in the volatile North-East during the past 72 hours.

Yesterday a similar explosion in Trincomalee had resulted in the death of at least 12 naval sailors and injuries eight.

Two Britian nationals were also wounded in the blast. On Saturday, five Sri Lankan army personnel and two civilian aid workers were also killed in the northen Jaffan Peninsula.

The US government in a statement today has condemned the series of LTTE attacks and the gunning down of Tamil activist Vigneswaran in Trincomalee and calling upon ''both the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government to fulfill the commitments they made at the February talks in Geneva and to take all possible steps to build a positive atmosphere for future talks''.

As series of mine blasts and truce related incidents have cast serious doubts on the working out of the second round of direct talks in Geneva, a top Norwegian facilitator, Eric Solheim, yesterday made an urgent appeal urging both, the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger rebels to attend the direct talks on April 19 as planned. It would ''provide an opportunity for finding ways to implement the Ceasefire agreement and the promises the parties gave in their previous meeting,'' the staement said.

Condemning the latest acts of violence in Sri Lanka's north-east ''in the strongest possible terms'', Mr Solheim said that ''these attacks must be seen against the backdrop of other serious acts of violence during the last few days''.

''The assassination of a prominent Tamil civil society representative in Trincomalee, Mr V Vigneswaran, and other serious incidents are adding to the vortex of violence that could eventually create a situation similar to that in December 2005 and January this year,'' the Norwegian statement said.

UNI XC SB BS1241

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