Three killed in Sri Lanka clashes

July 14, 2006 (AFP) – Two soldiers and a sailor were killed by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka on Friday, authorities said, as a militant nationalist group denounced the government for allowing medical treatment to a leading rebel. The two soldiers were killed when the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired mortar bombs at them in the eastern province of Trincomalee, a military official said, adding that five troops were wounded in the attack.

Navy troops fired a barrage of mortar bombs also in Trincomalee at suspected Tamil Tiger positions after a sailor was killed by a rebel sniper, the official said.

The sailor was hit by sniper fire and killed Friday morning and the navy responded with a mortar bomb barrage, a military official said.

The attack came a day after the Tigers accused government troops of penetrating deep into their territory and killing four rebels in the same region.

The defence ministry denied government troops had entered rebel-held territory, but said three soldiers were killed late Thursday in two separate clashes in the northern district of Vavuniya.

Meanwhile, dozens of militant nationalists protested outside the Colombo hospital where the media coordinator of the LTTE, Velay