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June 28, 2006

Four Tamil Tigers killed in Lanka

 
June 28, 2006

COLOMBO: Four Tamil Tiger fighters were killed in an attack by a rival group of ex-rebels in Sri Lanka early on Tuesday and a soldier was shot dead overnight, officials said, amid growing fears of renewed civil war. The attack in an area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the east came a day after a suspected Tiger suicide bomber assassinated the army deputy chief of staff.

A wave of attacks on the island has now killed around 700 people so far this year, straining a 2002 ceasefire between the military and the Tigers.

Police Deputy Inspector General Nihal Karunaratne and a spokesman for the renegade Karuna group said four Tigers had been killed in the attack on their camp in the Batticaloa district. The Tigers said they lost only one fighter, and blamed the army.

Fighters loyal to former Tiger eastern commander Karuna Amman have been clashing with the mainstream rebels in the east since 2004.

The government and Karuna deny any links but diplomats and analysts believe there is support. The Karuna group warned of more attacks on the Tigers, whom they accuse of ignoring eastern Tamils.