Tigers free seized Sri Lankan soldier

Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday released a government soldier they had captured overnight in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Trincomalee, local officials said. Tamil Tiger rebels Sunday released a government soldier they had captured overnight in Sri Lanka’s eastern district of Trincomalee, local officials said. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) handed the soldier to Norwegian-led truce monitors at Saampur.

“The monitors are now in the process of handing over the soldier to his military camp at Kattaparichchan,” a local military official in Trincomalee, 260 kilometres (160 miles) east of the capital, said by telephone.

The military accused the Tigers of abducting the soldier on Saturday while the guerrillas maintained that he had strayed into an area held by them. The truce monitors intervened to secure the release.

The LTTE and government forces have observed a truce since February 23, 2002, but face-to-face peace talks which opened in September 2002 were stalled in April 2003 and remain on hold.- AFP