Fresh Sri Lanka violence kills 12

Aug 12, 2007 (AFP) – At 12 people have been killed in fresh violence across Sri Lanka’s northern and eastern regions where a bitter ethnic war has raged for decades, military and Tamil rebel sources said Sunday. The ethnic conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful land mine against a military patrol in the Jaffna peninsula Sunday, killing four soldiers and wounding at least 13 others, military officials said.

The defence ministry said a civilian was also among the wounded.

The guerrillas also shot dead a Tamil civilian in the market place in Jaffna Sunday, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Another civilian was killed and four others were injured when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired mortars at a village in Weli Oya, in the island’s northeast on Sunday, the ministry said.

The wounded included a two-year-old child.

In the same area, security forces shot dead five suspected LTTE cadres as they tried to lay landmines on Saturday, the ministry said in a statement.

There was no immediate reaction from the guerrillas.

Two gunmen riding on a motor bike had shot dead a Muslim man in the eastern dist