School shelled as 9 dead in fresh violence in Sri Lanka

Dec 7, 2006 (AFP) – At least seven civilians and two soldiers were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka hours after the government announced tough anti-terror laws to battle Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said. Three civilians were killed and 10 students were wounded when Tamil Tiger rebels shelled a school in the northeastern district of Trincomalee, the defence ministry said.

The ministry said four more civilians were killed by a mine in the northern peninsula of Jaffna on Wednesday, while the two troopers were also killed by a mine blast on Wednesday night in the northern district of Vavuniya.

The main pipeline bringing water to the capital was also bombed by unidentified attackers on Wednesday night, police said, adding efforts were underway to restore supplies to thousands of homes.

The latest violence came as the government brought in tough anti-terror laws aimed at strengthening its battle against the rebels.

Norwegian peace envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer, who is visiting here, was expected to travel to the rebel-held north on Friday to meet with the guerrillas and discuss the faltering peace bid, diplomats said.

The Tamil Tigers have been campaigning for independence for the island’s minori