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Tigers lift water blockade

Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) – Tamil Tiger rebels lifted a water blockade Tuesday at the root of Sri Lanka’s latest bloodshed, which has officially claimed over 440 lives, as a car bomb killed three people in the capital. The fighting in the past fortnight has been the worst since the 2002 truce, which has been repeatedly broken, sparking fears that the conflict might re-ignite as an all-out war.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they had opened the sluice gates freeing water to some 15,000 farmer families following a request from Norway, which orchestrated the island’s shaky 2002 ceasefire.

Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers have been fighting over the waterway for the past two weeks, with the fighting spreading across the north-eastern port district of Trincomalee.

Security was stepped up in Trincomalee as relatives buried 17 aid workers killd by unidentified gunmen during fierce battles between troops and the Tigers in the nearby town of Muttur over the weekend.

Shelling was heard near Muttur Tuesday as the bodies of the victims, all Sri Lankan employees of the French charity Action Against Hunger (Action Contre la Faim, ACF) were taken to Trincomalee for autopsies and burials.

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