Sri Lanka war planes step up bombing, toll eight

July 29, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes bombed Tamil Tiger positions for a fourth straight day Saturday, killing at least eight more rebels, the guerrillas said, as their threadbare truce came under more strain. The pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website said Israeli-built Kfir jets bombed and destroyed a conference center of the guerrillas deep inside rebel-held territory in the district of Batticaloa.

“Eight Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres were killed and four wounded when Sri Lanka air force bombed Tigers’ Thenaham Conference Centre in Karadiyanaru,” Tamilnet said.

The aircraft also bombed another location of the Tigers further north in the neighbouring district of Trincomalee, officials said, adding security forces had no details of casualties.

The bombings escalated after Finland and Denmark said they would withdraw their nationals from the Swedish-led Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) in line with a demand by Tigers that they quit before September 1.

Sri Lankan spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella said they were yet to be formally informed by Denmark and Finland of their decisions to quit, but Colombo would resist any moves to reconstitute the SLMM without first being consulted.

“We