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Four soldiers killed in northern Sri Lanka
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07:45, August 13, 2007

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At least four soldiers were killed Sunday morning in an explosion carried out by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka, defense officials said.

An Army truck on road patrolling was targeted by an improvised explosive device fixed to a push cycle at northern Jaffna peninsula's Kovilakkandy area at 10:30 a.m local time (0500 GMT), killing four soldiers and injured 13 others.

In North Central Province's Ethavatunuwewa area a civilian was killed while two others including a two-year-old infant suffered injuries due to mortar fire from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at around 7:30 a.m. local time (0200 GMT).

"The LTTE targets innocent civilians in Ethavatunuwewa. They do this very often," Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe, the military spokesman said.

The Army also said that at least four LTTE members were killed in Eastern Province's Welioya area on Saturday evening as they tried to infiltrate into areas of military control.

About 5,000 people have died in the escalation of violence between government troops and the LTTE since the end of 2005.

The Norwegian backed peace initiative is stalled despite repeated pleas from the international community to resume the process of peaceful negotiations.

The LTTE has been fighting the government since the mid-1980s to establish a separate homeland for the minority Tamils in the north and east claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhala majority.

Source: Xinhua

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