Sri Lankan rebels, the Tamil Tigers, have stepped up attacks on security forces in the eastern province, defense officials said Tuesday.
During the 24 hour period between 5 p.m. local time Sunday and 5:00 p.m. Monday as many as eight separate attacks were carried out against the forces.
The attacks resulted in two deaths of soldiers and three injuries.
The police in the eastern province said that two more attacks took place in the province Monday night.
At around 7:30 p.m. local time (1330 GMT) a police post at Sammanthurai in the Ampara district was attacked while at 8:30 p.m. another police post at Kalmunai in the same district was attacked. Hand grenades were thrown at each police post but there were no casualties.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, who were accused of carrying out the Aug. 12 assassination of foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, agreed to have direct talks with the government on ways to sustain the February 2002 cease-fire.
The move has now taken the back-seat with the country heading toward an election to appoint a new executive president.
The election date is to be fixed this week. A negotiated settlement to end the separatist armed conflict is expected to figure high in election manifestos of both main contenders, analysts say.