Blast kills Sri Lanka soldier

COLOMBO, Nov 20, 2006 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels set off a land mine in northern Sri Lanka Monday, killing one soldier and wounding three others, defence officials said.

The killings added to a weekend toll of 35 people killed according to claims by both sides.

The bitter ethnic conflict between Tamil rebels in the majority Sinhalese nation has claimed at least 60,000 lives since 1972 and thousands have died in the past year despite a ceasefire in place since 2002.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ambushed a military bus by setting off the roadside mine at Point Pedro in the Jaffna peninsula, a defence official here said.

Officials said that four civilians were also gunned down by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in two separate incidents in the island’s northeastern district of Trincomalee and the northern district of Vavuniya Monday.