21 killed in fresh Sri Lanka violence


21 killed in fresh Sri Lanka violenceAt least 21 people were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka’s embattled northern and eastern regions, military officials said on Saturday.
Government forces shot dead five suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern peninsula of Jaffna on Saturday, a military official said. He said two more guerrillas were killed in the same area late Friday.
A government trooper was killed and seven others were seriously wounded when a vehicle abandoned by the Tigers exploded in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Saturday, officials said.
They said troops were trying to start the engine of the abandoned vehicle when it exploded on Saturday.
Three soldiers and five Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a gun battle in the northern Vavuniya region late Friday, the officials said.
Three civilians were also blown up in a mine blast in the eastern town of Eravur on Friday while two more civilians were gunned down by unidentified attackers in the northeast, officials said.
The ethnic conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2007