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Fresh blasts kill six civilians, naval sailor in Lanka's east

Written by: Staff
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Colombo, May 1 (UNI) At least seven people, including six civilians, were killed and eight more wounded in two separate claymore mine explosions in Sri Lanka's restive eastern province this morning, military sources here said.

''A navy sailor was killed and three others were injured in a claymore mine blast. The mine was affixed in a pushbike by the LTTE cadres, targeting the naval foot patrol near the Shanmugananda college in the Trincomalee town. A vehicle carrying civilians also got caught in the explosion killing four civilians and wounding two,'' Military Spokesman, Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe told UNI.

According to Brig Samarasinghe, two more civilians were killed and three others injured when a civilian vehicle hit a claymore in a seperate incident in Welioya this moring.

The violence continues to spiral even after the Nordic truce monitors and Sri Lanka's donor co-chairs, who met in Oslo last week, urged both the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tiger rebels to end the violence and get back to the negotiating table at the earliest to resolve the impending issues.

Meanwhile, he rejected a pro-rebel Tamilnet website report that the LTTE's Sea Tiger wing has transported its cadres from the rebel-held Trincomalee areas to the rebel headquarters in Mullaitivu using its own self-protected boats on Sunday night.

''There is no truth in the report....The Navy boats engaged in a routine patrol was fired upon by the LTTE last night in the eastern sea waters. Three sailors sustained minor injuries during the firefight,'' Brig Samarasinghe said.

Sri Lanka's truce related situation worsened on April 25, when a suspected LTTE suicide cadre, pretending as a pregnant woman, blew herself up inside the heavily-guarded army headquarters, killing at least eight people and wounding 29 more, including the army chief.

The police investigating the matter had established the identity of the bomber as 21-year-old Tamil girl, Anoja Kuganetti, from the northern Vavuniya district.

The identity of the female LTTE suicide bomber was established by forensic experts, who pieced together the details from the face of the woman cadre. The severed head of the bomber was recovered from a tree near the scene of the attack at the Army headquarters.

Following the suicide assassination bid on the army commander, the government launched a ''limited and coordinated retaliatory attacks on the selected targets'' on April 25 and 26 in the LTTE-held Samboor areas in the Eastern Trincomalee district.

Unconfirmed reports said at least 12 civilians were killed during the air strikes on the selected LTTE targets, which was reportedly located in the civilian populated areas. The damages cuased to the LTTE is not known yet.

On April 28, President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed an Essential Task Force to take all necessary measures to facilitate the return and rehabilitation of people, and to facilitate the delivery of essential services to residents of this area.

The President has also instructed the Treasury to allocate Rs 100 million to the task force to take action immediately.

UNI XC KD PC1630

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