Sri Lanka blast kills soldier, wounds four

Sept 1, 2006 (AFP) – A powerful Claymore mine exploded Friday in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula, killing one soldier and wounding four more, the defence ministry said. The victims were on foot patrol when they were hit, the ministry said. “Five soldiers suffered injuries and were admitted to hospital,” the ministry said.

It added that one soldier later died and that a search operation was underway in the area.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen shot dead two civilians in Jaffna, the ministry said.

The violence broke a lull in fighting across Sri Lanka’s embattled northern and eastern regions since last weekend.

More than 1,500 people have been killed following an escalation in Sri Lanka’s three-decade-old separatist conflict since December.

The upsurge in violence has occurred despite a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire agreed in 2002 between the government and the rebel Tamil Tigers.