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Fighting in Sri Lanka leaves 7 dead

The incidents is the latest in a surge in violence this year that has left more than 3,500 people, combatants and civilians, dead.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2006 11:58 IST

Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a roadside bomb, killing three government soldiers in northern Jaffna, while troops killed four rebels elsewhere on the peninsula, the military said on Tuesday.

The bomb exploded as a military patrol was passing in the town late Monday, killing three soldiers, the Media Center for National Security said.

The bomb, which can be remote controlled, is of a style that has become a hallmark of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

Also in Tamil-majority Jaffna, troops shot and killed four rebels after they were attacked, said an officer who cannot be named under military regulations.

At least nine soldiers were wounded in the second incident that also took place Monday, the officer said.

The incidents are the latest in a surge in violence this year that has left more than 3,500 people— combatants and civilians — dead, according to the Defence Ministry.

Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war ended in 2002 when Norway brokered a cease-fire, but the truce has come under serious threat due to an escalation of almost daily violence.

The rebels from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam say they are fighting to create a separate homeland for the country's 3.1 million ethnic minority Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.

The government says they can give limited autonomy, but within united Sri Lanka.

First Published: Dec 26, 2006 11:58 IST