Sri Lanka 's military says 2 policemen killed in roadside bomb blast
Sun June 22, 2008 04:23 EDT .
- - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Two Sri Lankan policemen were killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the island's east on Sunday, a day after 13 combatants died in clashes across the volatile north, the military said.
It was the latest violence in Sri Lanka - 's intensifying civil war that has seen fierce battles between troops and Tamil rebels, plus stepped-up bombings blamed on the insurgents.
The roadside bomb exploded Sunday morning in Kaludawalai village in the eastern Batticaloa district, according to a military statement.
The government captured the region last year but Tamil Tiger rebels still operate in scattered cells and occasionally ambush the army and police.
On Saturday, 11 rebels and two soldiers died in several battles across the island's restive north, in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya districts, the military statement said.
Rebel spokesman Thaya Master said he had no comment until he checked the facts with his superiors.
Encouraged by their success in the east, government forces have been trying to break into the Tigers' northern strongholds from four fronts for the few past months.
The government has said it hopes to crush the rebels and dismantle their de facto administration by the end of this year.
The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for the minority Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by majority Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed.
Published: Sun Jun 22 10:55:47 EDT 2008