New firing across Sri Lanka’s de facto front lines

May 20, 2006 (AFP) – Government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery fire across a de facto front line in the island’s north Saturday, military officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side after a 30-minute exchange of fire at Muhamalai in the Jaffna peninsula, but the main entry and exit points in the area were briefly shut, officials said.

In a similar clash elsewhere in the island’s north Friday, two government soldiers were killed, the military said. More than 200 people were killed last month despite a four-year truce between government forces and the rebels in an ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.