Roadside blasts kills 2 in northern Sri Lanka

Jan 23, 2007 (AFP) – Two roadside bombs exploded in northern Sri Lanka Tuesday, killing two people and wounding 10, while suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hijacked a truck with six construction workers, police said. The blasts occurred in the besieged government-controlled Jaffna peninsula, while the workers were kidnapped by suspected Tiger rebels in the northern town of Vavuniya, police said.

A soldier was killed and two others wounded in one Claymore mine attack in Jaffna, while in the second attack a civilian was killed and eight others were wounded, police said.

The past month has seen a surge in violence in Vavuniya, situated 260 kilometres (160 miles) north of Colombo, with court records showing 34 civilians and 22 security personnel were killed there this month.

The killings were reported 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 clearing the area of mines and booby traps for a third straight day Tuesday, military officials said.

The military said security forces there had also captured a haul of weapons, including artillery guns, anti-aircraft cannons, mortars, suicide-bomb vests