Lankan army, Tamil rebels exchanges fire; 1 dead | india | Hindustan Times
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Lankan army, Tamil rebels exchanges fire; 1 dead

The military suffered no casualties when the rebels opened fire with guns and mortars on the camp at Kiran in the eastern district of Batticaloa.

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 11:15 IST

An anti-personnel mine triggered by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in northeastern Sri Lanka killed an army officer on Thursday, as the insurgents attacked a military camp in the east, sparking a gunbattle, the military said.

The military suffered no casualties when the rebels opened fire with guns and mortars on the camp at Kiran in the eastern district of Batticaloa, military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said.

Soldiers returned fire, he said, but it was not immediately known if rebels suffered casualties.

The Kiran camp, about 220 kms east of the capital, Colombo, is one of several military posts aimed at curbing rebel influence in the east, where the government controls major towns but the rebels have a presence in villages and jungles.

Separately, an anti-personnel mine targeted a military foot patrol in northwest Mannar, killing one Sri Lankan army officer and wounding a soldier, Samarasinghe said.

"They were on a route clearing patrol and the Claymore (anti-personnel) mine was triggered," Samarasinghe said, accusing the rebels of the attack. Mannar is 220 kms northwest of Colombo.

The fresh violence came as the government and the rebels prepared to meet in Oslo, Norway, later on Thursday to discuss the security and operations of European cease-fire monitors amid escalating violence.

Norway -- which brokered a 2002 cease-fire that ended 19 years of open civil war -- called the two-day talks after a surge in violence killed at least 375 people since April.

The rebels began fighting the government in 1983 to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination. At least 65,000 people died in the conflict before the truce.