Civillian deaths by Tamil Tigers climb up

June 30, 2007 (AFP) – Suspected rebels in Sri Lanka shot dead seven civilians and security forces discovered a truck packed with powerful explosives, the country’s defence ministry said on Saturday.

Tamil Tiger rebels gunned down four farmers in the eastern town of Serunuwara late on Friday, the military said.

Two Tamil civilians were shot dead by the guerrillas in the northern town of Jaffna late on Friday, the ministry added.

The rebels also shot dead a former child soldier in the eastern Batticaloa district as he attended a Hindu service late on Thursday, the ministry said.

Elsewhere, Sri Lanka’s navy discovered late Friday a truck filled with about 1,000 kilogrammes (2,200 pounds) of explosives in a fishing village in Trincomalee.

The bomb, found 260 kilometres (160 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo, was defused, the ministry said.

Security forces detected a similarly powerful bomb near an oil storage depot in the capital last week. Earlier this month they seized another truck carrying just over 1,000 kilogrammes of explosives.

Nobody claimed immediate responsibility for the killings or the truck bombs. But the government has blamed the rebels for past