Mortar bomb attacks in Sri Lanka’s restive region

May 18, 2006 (AFP) – Heavy mortar bomb attacks were reported from Sri Lanka’s restive north-eastern port district of Trincomalee Thursday, residents and police said. Security forces were firing at suspected Tamil rebel positions from which they came under attack overnight, police said as residents said they heard several mortar bomb explosions within a half-hour period.

There was also tension along a de facto front line in the island’s northern peninsula of Jaffna where at least one soldier was wounded in an anti-personnel mine explosion on Wednesday evening, military officials said.

They said there was a brief artillery exchange along the defence line in the peninsula on Tuesday night. More than 200 people have died over the past month despite a four-year truce between government forces and the rebels amid an ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.