One injured in grenade blast in Sri Lankan Tamil party office
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hurled a hand grenade into the political office of a rival Tamil group in eastern Sri Lanka on Monday, injuring one person, a military spokesman said.
The attack on the office of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, a former ally turned opponent of the Tigers, took place in Batticaloa, 220 kilometers (135 miles) east of the capital, Colombo, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.
The identity of the injured person is still unknown, he said.
The attack comes as the government and rebels prepare to attend peace talks in Switzerland on Feb. 22-23 to try and save a four-year-old cease-fire which has come under threat because of widespread violence.
The insurgents have been accused of killing scores of opponents and government troops. About 81 security personnel have been killed since December in land mine explosions blamed on the guerrillas.
The rebels have denied the claims and accused the government of using their rivals for covert attacks against them and civilians.
There was no immediate comment from the Tigers on the blast.
The Tigers are the last of a dozen or so ethnic Tamil groups that have been fighting for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in the country's northeast.
All of the others renounced violence after a peace accord arranged by India in 1987, with many becoming legitimate political groups. The Tigers have since accused these groups of corroborating with government forces.
Sri Lanka's civil conflict claimed 65,000 lives before the cease-fire in 2002. Peace talks broke down in 2003 when the guerillas withdrew demanding more autonomy in Tamil-majority north and east.
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Published: Mon Feb 13 12:07:02 EST 2006