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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 82

Killing of Sri Lankan soldiers heightens tensions on Jaffna

[b]Killing of Sri Lankan soldiers heightens tensions on Jaffna peninsula[/b]

By K. Ratnayake – World Socialist Web Site

The deaths of 14 Sri Lankan soldiers in two separate attacks on Sunday and Tuesday have significantly raised tensions between the Colombo government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The killings come amid rising violence in the North and East of the island involving the LTTE, the armed forces and various paramilitary outfits aligned to the military.

The first attack on Sunday took place at Kondavil near the northern Jaffna town. Six soldiers died when two claymore mines detonated next to a tractor on which they were travelling. Another soldier later died of his injuries. The government and military immediately blamed the LTTE for the incident, which the US State Department also condemned as a breach of the ceasefire.

Seven more soldiers were killed yesterday in another attack using a claymore mine at Irupalai, north of Jaffna town. According to the military, the troops were returning to their base on a tractor after a routine foot patrol. A government statement accused the LTTE of being "engaged in a stealth war against Sri Lankan security forces using the cover of the ceasefire agreement".

The LTTE denied any involvement in the attacks. Spokesman Daya Master declared yesterday: "We are not going to break the ceasefire agreement" Whether or not the LTTE was directly responsible, the killings have heightened the danger of a return to war.

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