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Lankan military accuses LTTE of breaching truce

The military accused Tamil Tigers of carrying out artillery and mortar attacks in the east of the island, despite a pledge to stick to a truce.

india Updated: Nov 01, 2006 15:01 IST

Sri Lanka's military on Wednesday accused Tamil Tiger rebels of carrying out artillery and mortar attacks against government lines in the east of the island, despite a pledge to stick to a truce.

A military spokesman said a government soldier was hurt overnight on Tuesday in three hours of strikes by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on positions at Kajuwatta, Mankerni and Mahindapura.

"The LTTE started firing mortars and shells from Kathiraveli in the night," Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said, adding sporadic fire continued through today morning.

"This is even after the LTTE pledged in Geneva that they would abide by the ceasefire," he added, referring to failed Norwegian-brokered peace talks in Switzerland at the weekend that were aimed at restoring a 2002 ceasefire agreement.

Both sides have continued to fight it out since the talks. On Tuesday at least five people were killed and six others injured in separate clashes in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Navy also said it destroyed a trawler off the northern coast suspected of smuggling arms to the rebels, and said at least five rebels were killed in the attack.

Tamil Tigers have in turn accused the government of building up its forces in the north, even as the face-to-face talks were progressing.

The conflict in Sri Lanka is Asia's longest and bloodiest separatist war, claiming more than 60,000 lives since the LTTE launched its bid for Tamil independence in 1972.

First Published: Nov 01, 2006 15:01 IST