Tamil rebel factions clash in Sri Lanka , three dead
Wed September 8, 2004 02:29 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A camp held by Sri Lanka - 's Tamil Tiger rebels was overrun by a breakaway faction, sparking a gunbattle that left at least three guerrillas dead and five wounded, military officials said Wednesday. Three rebels from the main rebel group were killed and five wounded, two of them seriously, another military official reached in eastern Sri Lanka - 's main town of Batticaloa said.
Tamil Tiger spokesman Daya Master contacted at the rebel-held northern town of Kilinochchi confirmed the incident but said only two of their cadres were wounded.
European cease-fire monitors are investigating the attack, said the team's deputy head in Batticaloa, Steen Joergensen.
Scores have died in Sri Lanka - 's factional fighting since a former rebel military leader broke away from the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam with 6,000 cadres.
The Tigers accuse the military of aiding the breakaway faction.
The Tigers started fighting government troops in 1983, trying to create a separate state for Sri Lanka - 's minority ethnic Tamils, accusing the majority Sinhalese of discrimination.
At least 65,000 people died in the conflict before the government and rebels signed a cease-fire in February 2002.
Peace talks have been stalled for more than 17 months over disagreement on how much autonomy should be granted to the rebels in the northeast, but the truce has largely held.
Published: Wed Sep 8 06:42:36 EDT 2004