Sri Lanka Army (SLA) denied Wednesday a pro-rebel website report which said that the Army exploded a pressure mine targeting a tractor with civilians in the eastern Batticaloa district.
The pro-LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) TamilNet website said that nine civilians were killed in a SLA pressure mine explosion against a tractor at Nedunkal in Batticaloa around 10:00 a.m. local time (0430 GMT) on Wednesday.
About 20 civilians were riding in the tractor during the attack, the website said, adding that 14 people were also injured in the explosion.
The Army has categorically denied the TamilNet report on its official website, calling the report "a total fabrication since the SLA never moved beyond government controlled areas as stated in that untrue report."
The escalation of violence in Sri Lanka's north and east has killed more than 600 people since December last year with the government and the LTTE accusing each other of resorting to force.
More than 64,000 people had been killed in Sri Lanka's drawn- out ethnic separatist armed conflict between mid 1980s and 2002 when the Norwegians brokered a ceasefire.