Sri Lankan rebels say 6 civilians killed in army ambush
Tue June 3, 2008 01:27 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil rebels accused the government Tuesday of killing six civilians with a roadside bomb triggered in a rebel-controlled town in northern Sri Lanka - , but the military denied responsibility for the attack.
The Tamil Tiger rebels said in a statement that Monday night's attack in Mankulam village also wounded four other people. The dead and wounded were civilians visiting a Hindu temple, they said.
Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said he was unaware of such an attack. He said the army can't take responsibility for what the guerrillas claim to be happening inside rebel territory.
Monday's blast was the third bomb attack targeting civilians in the past two weeks. Earlier, a roadside bomb hit a civilian car in rebel-controlled Kilinochchi district and a bomb exploded on a passenger train in Dehiwala just south of the capital, Colombo. At least 31 people have been reported killed in the three attacks.
Dozens of other civilians have also been killed in targeted attacks this year. The government has blamed the insurgents for attacks in Colombo and other predominantly ethnic Sinhalese-majority areas, while the rebels have accused the military of killing Tamil civilians within their territory.
Meanwhile, the military spokesman Nanayakkara said that air force helicopters Tuesday bombed a series of bunkers occupied by the insurgents in northern Vavuniya district. He did not give details of damages or casualties caused by the attack.
Also 10 rebels and three soldiers were killed Monday in ground clashes reported from four northern fronts in the Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya regions, he said.
Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to carve out an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils who have faced marginalization by successive governments controlled by majority Sinhalese.
Published: Tue Jun 3 07:23:21 EDT 2008