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Three soldiers killed in Sri Lanka landmine blast

The blast took place as Norway's peace envoy arrived in Colombo in a bid to jump start the stalled peace process, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Jan 23, 2006 14:01 IST

Three Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and three were injured in a claymore mine blast set off by the LTTE at Oorani on the Batticaloa-Valachenai road early on Monday, military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe said.

It is significant that the blast occurred when the Norwegian Peace Envoy Erik Solheim was in Colombo holding high-level talks ahead of his visit to Kilinochchi on Wednesday to meet the LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Rajapaksa rejects Muslim demand

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he had rejected the Muslims' demand that they be given separate representation at the talks with the LTTE on the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), which the Norwegian peace brokers were trying to organise.

Rajapaksa told the Tamil daily Sudar Oli on Monday that the talks on the CFA were between two parties, which had been fighting, namely, the government and the LTTE.

But the Muslims could discuss the question of separate representation with the LTTE and come back to him with their consent, Rajapaksa said.

As for his own view, the Muslims were welcome to be part of the government delegation, he said.

First Published: Jan 23, 2006 09:18 IST