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Four Tamil rebels die in an explosion

world Updated: Jun 12, 2007 16:57 IST

Four Tamil guerrillas were killed in eastern Sri Lanka and an electricity pylon was damaged in an explosion in Colombo on Tuesday, the military said.

The rebels were killed on Tuesday morning in Pulipanchikulam, 320 km east of the capital where the government claims to have cleared much of the area by pushing the guerrillas back into a jungle base.

Military officials confirmed that a gun battle took place and the bodies of the rebels were found in a search operation. Two claymore mines and three hand grenades were also recovered.

A group of sailors carrying out a search operation on a main road detected a powerful claymore mine believed to be meant to be triggered against the security forces in Nilaveli, 270 km northeast of Colombo, military officials said.

Security forces use the road for their logistic supplies.

In the same district, troops unearthed a dump of mortar bombs and live ammunition including rocket propelled grenade (RPG) rounds.

The detection was made in Verugal, south of Trincomalee town, 260 km northeast of Colombo. The area was recently captured from the rebels and moves have begun to resettle residents in this area.

In the capital, an electricity pylon was damaged when an explosive device tied to it was set off on Tuesday morning.

The blast took place at Orugodawatte, less than a kilometer from a thermal power station.

The military blamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the explosion and arrested five people.

The series of incidents in the northern and eastern parts of the country as well as the additional security measures in the capital to prevent rebel attacks have stretched the Sri Lankan military.

Fighting in the northeast has escalated in the past 18 months, with more than 4,200 deaths reported.