Two civilians hurt as Sri Lanka troops battle Tamil Tigers

April 30 (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces fired artillery guns at suspected Tamil Tiger positions after the rebels carried out an abortive attack on a fishing community and wounded at least two civilians, police said. Troops kept up the barrage against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) after the guerrillas stormed into a village and opened fire, a local police official said.

“Some of the residents panicked and fled to the main town,” the police official at Pulmodai said when contacted by telephone. “The army started firing at Tiger positions using long range weapons.”

The attack was similar to an overnight firing against army defence lines outside two camps in the region, a defence official said adding that the Tigers have been directing “harassing fire” at security forces.

The latest confrontation followed a clash elsewhere in the east where Tiger guerrillas launched a major attack against a breakaway faction, leaving at least 18 people killed, according to both sides.

Peace broker Norway has been trying to arrange talks between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels, but they have failed to agree on dates for talks.

Nearly 200 people have been killed in a spike of violence in the pa