More bloodshed as Norway pushes for Sri Lanka peace

Apr. 19 (AFP) – Another 10 deaths were reported Wednesday in Sri Lanka’s embattled north and east as Norway’s new peace envoy launched a fresh attempt to salvage the island’s collapsing ceasefire. Two Claymore mine attacks also rocked the troubled regions Wednesday, wounding at least five people including a Korean businessman and two of his Sri Lankan associates, the military said.

Spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said two sailors were wounded when their water tanker was hit by a land mine while the three civilians, including the unnamed Korean, were injured when their truck was hit by a mine in the north.

Norwegian emissary Jon Hanssen-Bauer bought forward his meeting with Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake to Tuesday, shortly after arriving here amid an upsurge in violence which the government blames on Tamil Tiger rebels.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) accused the government of unleashing violence against civilians in areas where the island’s minority Tamils are concentrated.

“Sri Lankan military forces and paramilitary groups are continuing with violence against Tamil civilians, killing five in separate incidents within five hours on Monday,” the LTTE said i