Roadside blast kills three in Sri Lanka

Jan 26, 2007 (AFP) – Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a Claymore mine in northern Sri Lanka Friday, killing two security personnel and a civilian, police said. The powerful roadside bomb was exploded in the district of Vavuniya as troops and police were on a routine patrol, a police official in Vavuniya town, 260 kilometres (160 miles) north of the capital, said by telephone.
He said a police officer and a soldier were killed together with a civilian while three more were wounded.

The past month has seen a surge in violence in Vavuniya with court records showing 38 civilians and 24 security personnel were killed there this month despite a heavy presence of police and troops.

In the island’s restive east, ground troops who captured the town of Vakarai from Tamil Tigers were consolidating their gains, military officials said.

An escalation in violence since December 2005 has left more than 3,800 people dead, despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place since 2002. More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict in the past 35 years.