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22 May 2024

Bombs kill eight civilians in Sri Lanka: Tamil rebels

By Agencies


Two bombs killed at least eight civilians inside guerrilla-held territory in northern Sri Lanka, Tamil Tiger rebels said Thursday.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said Sri Lanka's military had infiltrated into the area and carried out two roadside bomb attacks against vehicles transporting civilians.

In a report published on the pro-rebel Sankathi.com website, the Tigers said civilians were travelling in tractor trailers when they were allegedly targeted by the military.

Sri Lanka's military routinely denies carrying out such bomb attacks inside LTTE-held territory in the north.

Earlier this month, the Tigers made a similar allegation against the military, holding it responsible for a string of attacks that killed scores of civilians, including children.

The latest charge came as fighting raged along the front lines of the de facto LTTE mini-state.

According to the defence ministry, 1,640 rebels have been killed so far this year. The military estimated the Tigers' strength at the beginning of the year at 3,000 and revised it to 5,000 combatants this month.

The ministry says 94 soldiers and police have also been killed in 2008.

Casualty figures provided by both sides differ vastly and cannot be independently verified. The government bars journalists and human rights workers from frontline and rebel-held areas. (AFP)