Sri Lanka toll hits 11 as monitors mull truce

June 30, 2006 (AFP) – At least 11 people were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka, the military and the Tamil rebels said Friday, as Nordic truce monitors mulled their future role on the troubled island. The LTTE has also warned against Norway’s withdrawal, saying in a statement Monday that war would be “unavoidable” if Oslo quits the peace process. The military issued a statement saying five people, including a sailor and three civilians, were killed in clashes in the 24 hours to noon Friday while the rebels said six more had been killed in new violence in the past two days.

The Tigers killed the sailor Friday in the north-west of the island and the victim’s colleague fired back and killed the attacker, the military said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said three civilians were killed by a Claymore mine in the rebel-held area of Kokkupadaiyan on Wednesday.

They blamed the blast on the Sri Lankan military.

They said another three men were gunned down in the east of the island later Wednesday night, just hours before a key meeting of five Nordic nations to decide the future of their monitoring mission in Sri Lanka.

The Oslo-arranged meeting in the Norwegian capital Thursday