Mine attack in Sri Lanka amid fresh peace moves
Suspected Tiger rebels set off a mine targeting a navy bus in Trincomalee that left two rebels dead and at least seven sailors injured.india Updated: Jan 17, 2006 13:25 IST
Suspected Tamil Tigers set off a mine targeting a navy bus in a Sri Lankan district on Tuesday and engaged security personnel in a gunbattle that left two rebels dead and at least seven sailors injured.
LTTE rebels set off the claymore mine as the navy bus approached the northern port district of Trincomalee. However, the bus missed the full impact of the blast, military officials said.
The Tigers immediately opened fire at the security personnel and the sailors retaliated, killing two of the attackers.
A civilian was also wounded in the attack. One of the six sailors injured in the mine attack was in a critical condition, they said.
It was the fourth major attack against the navy in as many weeks.
The latest attack came as Norway sent its ambassador to Lanka, Hans Brattskar, to the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi for talks with the Tigers on saving a truce that has come under increasing pressure.
Brattsakar was accompanied by members of the Norwegian-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), which also suffered a bomb attack last week, when four of their vehicles were damaged by unidentified attackers.
The pro-rebel Tamilnet website said the Tigers were due to take up, among other things, the issue of disarming rivals allegedly supported by the Sri Lankan military.
Diplomats said Brattskar was due to arrange logistics for a visit next week by Norway's International Development Minister Erik Solheim, who is expected to try to revive the peace process.