European truce monitor blames LTTE for attacks
Retired Swedish general Ulf Henricsson blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for the recent spate of land mine blasts in Sri Lanka.india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 11:23 IST
The chief European ceasefire monitor blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels for the recent spate of land mine blasts that have killed dozens in Sri Lanka and imperilled a four-year-old, Norwegian-brokered truce.
Retired Swedish general Ulf Henricsson said while he couldn't be completely certain that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were responsible for all of the mine attacks, it was likely they were to blame for most.
"If I look into the pattern and whole series of mine blasts, I would ... Rule this as a serious violation by the LTTE," Henricsson said.
"I can't prove every explosion to one single party, (but) the blasts directed toward the army, (I'm) quite sure that it could not be launched by any other organization than the LTTE."
It was the first time a member of the 60-strong Nordic mission has publicly blamed the rebels for the blasts, mostly involving Claymore anti-personnel mines that can be detonated by remote control and are designed to fire hundreds of steel balls.
The military has said Claymores appear to be the favoured weapon of the rebels.
More than 50 people have been killed since April 10, mostly in mine explosions.
Others have died in clashes between ethnic Tamils and Sinhalese. The Tigers, meanwhile, have accused the military of targeting and killing their members.
The Tigers have denied responsibility for the blasts and said Tamil civilians affected by the military are acting on their own.