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More killings in Lanka as warring parties open new front

Both the Lankan government and the Tigers blamed each other for fresh fighting which erupted in the eastern district of Amparai.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 13:01 IST

Two men were found shot dead in Sri Lanka's northern Vavuniya town on Friday as the warring parties shifted the battle lines to the island's east after heavy casualties in the north.

The two men were found gunned down in Vavuniya, police said adding that the identity of the victims was not known.

There had been several such killings in the area.

Both the government and the Tamil Tigers meanwhile blamed each other for fresh fighting which erupted in the eastern district of Amparai.

"LTTE terrorists launched artillery and mortar shells towards the police Special Task Force (STF) defences," at Kandjikudiaru in Amparai, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

It said there were no reports of casualties in the overnight exchange of fire. The guerrillas kept up long range attacks against security forces drawing fire from them, the ministry said.

The Tigers, however, said they were on the defensive.

"The Liberation Tigers fighters were engaged in defensive clashes with the STF troopers, according to the Tiger political head of Amparai district," the pro-rebel Tamilnetwebsite reported.

Reports of fighting in the east came as violence subsided in the north after Wednesday's intense battles.

The military said over 500 soldiers were wounded in Wednesday's fighting which saw the security forces suffer the biggest single loss since a truce went into effect from February 2002.

More than 200 rebels were killed, the defence ministry said.

First Published: Oct 13, 2006 13:01 IST