Three killed as Tigers clash with Sri Lankan troops laying mines

June 14, 2006 (AFP) – Tamil Tigers clashed with Sri Lankan soldiers who were laying mines deep within rebel territory, killing at least one trooper but losing two of their own, a pro-rebel website said Wednesday. A unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Tuesday confronted the military personnel who had infiltrated guerrilla-held territory in the island’s north, Tamilnet said.

“Two Tamil auxiliaries and an Sri Lanka army soldier were killed when both exchanged gunfire,” it reported. “At least one bag marked ‘SLA’ (Sri Lanka army) was recovered from the attackers.”

Tamilnet said the soldiers were members of the army’s Deep Penetration Unit and had been laying three Claymore mines when they were surprised by the rebels.

The military denied the charge but said two of their officers had gone missing and were believed to have been abducted by the Tigers.

“The possibility of the body being that of a missing officer cannot be ruled out,” a military statement said. “The Tamil Tigers have a long history of resorting to abduction of both military and civilians.”

In other violence, military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said a total of five people were killed in the embattled northern and eas