Eight killed in mine attacks in Sri Lanka

July 3, 2006 (AFP) – At least eight people were killed and dozens injured Monday in three mine attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions, the defence ministry said. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) used a remote-controlled device to detonate a bomb hidden inside a three-wheel taxi parked near a checkpoint at the entrance to the town of Trincomalee, the ministry said.

It said six people, including four constables, a soldier and a civilian were killed.

Local residents said dozens of passengers in a nearby bus were also wounded, but only 14 people were kept in the hospital for treatment.

A civilian wounded in the blast later succumbed to his injuries, local officials said.

A police official said two nearby shops were also destroyed by the blast.

Another soldier was killed and two more wounded in another Claymore mine attack in the Jaffna peninsula, a ministry spokesman said, adding that four constables escaped with injuries in a similar attack in Batticaloa.

Even as the attacks marked a surge in violence, a senior Indian diplomat visited Colombo and held talks with President Mahinda Rajapakse on the current security situation, a