Roadside bomb explodes in northwestern Sri Lanka , 1 soldier wounded
Mon July 17, 2006 01:24 EDT .
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels on Monday triggered three bombs in Sri Lanka's volatile north and east , killing one soldier and wounding twelve others, the army said.
A roadside bomb targeted a group of soldiers who were clearing a road in Jaffna, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo, killing a soldier, injuring two other soldiers and four civilians, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.
Earlier, one soldier was wounded in a blast in Mannar, 220 kilometers (135 miles) northwest of Colombo, Samarasinghe said.
Separately, suspected rebels detonated a bomb that wounded five sailors in the eastern Trincomalee district, 215 kilometers (135 miles) northeast of the capital, Colombo, said navy spokesman Commander D.K.P Dassanayake.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels but a pro-rebel Web site reported the Jaffna blast, saying that ``unknown'' persons carried out a grenade attack on soldiers riding bicycles.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday appointed battle-hardened Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara as the country's navy's chief of staff. With a career spanning 35 years, Weerasekara had undergone training in India and the Naval War College of the United States. He has commanded fast-attack craft in battles against Tamil Tiger rebels.
Separately, a military search team seized two hand grenades late Sunday from two people riding a motorcycle in the Tamil heartland of Jaffna, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Colombo, the military said.
There has been a surge in violence in Sri Lanka in recent days, raising fears that the island nation is slipping back into a full-blown civil war after a four-year truce.
On Friday, 16 people _ 12 soldiers and four rebels _ were killed in a gunbattle.
The rebels want to create a separate homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority, saying they face discrimination from the majority Sinhalese.
Discuss this story
Published: Mon Jul 17 02:22:48 EDT 2006