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Tamil rebel attack kills 4 village guards in SL

Separatist ethnic Tamil militants launch a pre-dawn attack on a guard post in northern Sri Lanka, killing four village guards, military says.
AP | By HT Correspondent, Colombo
UPDATED ON JUL 24, 2007 10:39 AM IST

Separatist ethnic Tamil militants launched a pre-dawn attack on a guard post in northern Sri Lanka on Tuesday killing four village guards, military said. The attack took place in northern Vavuniya district, an official at the Media Center for National Security said.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels. Village guards are recruited from ethnic Sinhalese villages bordering rebel strongholds to defend against rebel attacks. The attack came hours after the military claimed it had killed four guerrillas who tried to infiltrate a northern defense line on Monday.

Troops guarding a defense line in northern Jaffna peninsula killed the insurgents at the border post of Muhamalai, said military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe.

Two soldiers were wounded in the confrontation, he said. Sri Lanka's civil war has worsened in the last 20 months, with over 5,000 fighters and civilians killed in clashes, assassinations and air strikes, despite a 2002 Norway-brokered cease-fire. Neither side has withdrawn from the agreement fearing international isolation, but both have publicly declared the truce meaningless.

Tamil Tiger rebels have waged a separatist war against the state since 1983 to create an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils who have suffered decades of discrimination from majority Sinhalese-controlled governments.

More than 70,000 people have died in the more than two decades of fighting.

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