Troops and rebels killed in north and east Sri Lanka clashes

Oct 31, 2006 (AFP) – At least five people were reported killed and six others injured in separate clashes Tuesday between Tamil rebels and government troops in north and east Sri Lanka, defence officials said. A soldier was killed and three others injured when a mine exploded on a truck carrying troops for leave in the northern Vavuniya district in the early hours of Tuesday, the officials said.

Elsewhere, a police special task force (STF) officer was killed in a gunbattle with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels in the eastern Ampara district that injured three others.

In a similar attack late in the afternoon two LTTE rebels were killed when the STF launched a retaliatory attack in the Thirukkovil area in the same district.

The military also accused the Tamil rebels of firing artillery at the Kadjuwatta and Mankerni army camps overnight on Monday.

The violence came after the failure of the weekend peace talks between the warring parties in Geneva.

The LTTE has accused the government of carrying out a military build-up in the north even as the face-to-face talks were progressing.

The government denied the charge.

The two days of talks in Switzerland, which aimed to halt