May 14, 2006 (AFP) – May 14, 2006 (AFP) – At least 19 people have been killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka, officials said Sunday, as Tamil Tigers vowed a “war” to deploy their navy even though truce monitors say it violates a ceasefire. Thirteen of the victims were gunned down in separate incidents in the northern islet of Kayts on Saturday night, the military said.
Two more people were killed in the restive northeastern port district of Trincomalee.
Another two were gunned down at Atchchuvely in the northern Jaffna peninsula, police said. On Sunday, a soldier was killed when suspected Tigers lobbed grenades at troops, the military said, adding that it retaliated and killed one of the attackers.
Authorities were investigating if the killings were linked to the ongoing Tamil separatist conflict amid a spate of tit-for-tat attacks in the north and east in recent weeks.
More than 200 people have died in clashes over the past month despite a four-year truce between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an ethnic conflict that has claimed over 60,000 lives since 1972.
President Mahinda Rajapakse, 60, said in an interview with the island’s Sunday Times that the government is still committed to