More deaths in fresh fighting in Eastern Sri Lanka

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 6, 2006 (AFP) – At least two Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and 13 others wounded Wednesday in clashes with Tamil Tiger rebels in the country’s restive north-east, military officials said. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) shelled military positions at Maavilaru village in Trincomalee district where security forces on Monday regained control of a rebel-held town, officials said.

Troops in that town, Sampur, consolidated their gains after driving out Tiger guerrillas who had used the area to shell the main naval port in Trincomalee, officials said.

“Two soldiers were killed and we suffered another 13 wounded,” a military officer said. “They were admitted to two hospitals in the district.”

There was no immediate word from the Tigers about the latest attack, but the pro-rebel Tamilnet website said that three civilians were killed in a military shelling of rebel-held territory elsewhere in the region on Wednesday.

A ceasefire was signed in 2002 but fighting has risen sharply with at least 1,500 killed since December.

More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict since 1972. .