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7 dead as Lankan police, Tamil rebels clash

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam attacked a patrol of Special Task Force commandos at Amparai in Lanka's eastern province.

india Updated: Dec 06, 2006 13:55 IST

Sri Lanka's elite police commandos and Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in the island's east on Monday, killing six rebels and one trooper, the defence ministry said in Colombo.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) attacked a patrol of the Special Task Force commandos at Amparai in the eastern province on Monday morning, it said.

Four STF commandos were wounded and one of them died in hospital while the troopers say they killed at least six Tamil Tigers.

There was no immediate reaction from the guerrillas, but the fighting came a day after the government asked peacebroker Norway to suspend its contacts with the Tigers pending a review on Colombo's ties with the rebels.

Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, who was due to travel to the rebel-held town of Kiliniochchi on Tuesday, put off his visit after the government said it did not approve of the move, an embassy spokesman said.

The pro-rebel Tamilnet website said Colombo asking the peacebroker to suspend contacts with the Tigers amounted to "nullifying" the peace process.

Sri Lanka is under pressure to ban the Tigers after the group on Friday tried to assassinate defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is also the younger brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

First Published: Dec 04, 2006 18:40 IST