Alert after Sri Lanka fighting, fresh mine kills three police

June 18, 2006 (AFP) – A mine attack blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels killed three Sri Lankan police Sunday following a day of fierce land and sea battles that left more than 50 people dead. Peace broker Norway last week failed to arrange face-to-face talks between the Colombo government and the LTTE in Oslo. The constables died when a police water tanker was blown up by a Claymore mine in the north-central district of Anuradhapura, the military said.

A military spokesman said they believed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out the bombing.

Also Sunday at least six guerrillas died when the Tigers clashed with a breakaway rebel faction in the island’s east, military officials said, citing intercepts of rebel radio communications.

Security was further strengthened nationwide in the face of escalating violence in north and east Saturday that saw furious fighting between troops and the rebels.

“We have made sure that security is tight,” inspector general of police, Chandra Fernando said Sunday. “We are seeking public cooperation to track down any suspicious activity.”

Fernando said the LTTE had deployed a new type of sea mine along the northwest coast agains