Sri Lanka’s military accuses Tiger rebels of breaching truce

Nov 1, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military Wednesday accused Tamil Tiger rebels of carrying out artillery and mortar attacks against government lines in the east of the island, despite a pledge to stick to a truce. A military spokesman said a government soldier was hurt overnight Tuesday in three hours of strikes by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on positions at Kajuwatta, Mankerni and Mahindapura.

“The LTTE started firing mortars and shells from Kathiraveli in the night,” Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said, adding sporadic fire continued through Wednesday morning.

“This is even after the LTTE pledged in Geneva that they would abide by the ceasefire,” he added, referring to failed Norwegian-brokered peace talks in Switzerland at the weekend that were aimed at restoring a 2002 ceasefire agreement.

Both sides have continued to fight it out since the talks. On Tuesday at least five people were killed and six others injured in separate clashes in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan navy also said it destroyed a trawler off the northern coast suspected of smuggling arms to the rebels, and said at least five rebels were killed in the attack.

Tamil Tigers have in turn accused th