Da The Indian Express del 18/08/2006
Originale su http://www.indianexpress.com/story/10834.html

Sri Lanka edging towards war

COLOMBO, AUGUST 17:Tamil Tiger rebels launched fresh attacks overnight on key military targets in northern Sri Lanka, where a week of fierce fighting has killed more than 800 rebels and security forces, the military said on Thursday, as the country spiralled closer to all-out war.

The clashes on Wednesday in northern Jaffna Peninsula came as Sri Lanka’s president vowed the government would not bow to insurgent demands and withdraw from the north, claimed by Tamil Tiger rebels as the heartland of ethnic Tamil culture.

Twenty boats from the Tiger’s feared sea unit attacked a strategic land and naval base in Kilaly, off the coast of Jaffna on Wednesday night, prompting a gunbattle that lasted until dawn, military spokesman Major Upali Rajapakse said.

He said the Navy sunk three rebel boats, and killed 70 rebels, who had also attacked by land. He said about 15 soldiers and sailors had been killed.

Also in Jaffna, insurgents fired a barrage of rockets and artillery at an air base on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said, adding that the Tigers may have hit a military helicopter that was about to take off. The military denied the aircraft was damaged.

Earlier today, about six or seven monks from a right-wing Buddhist faction had stormed the stage during a peace rally attended by about 1,000 people in the capital, Colombo, shouting pro-war slogans.

A member of Sri Lanka’s parliament was addressing the crowd when the monks climbed on stage. The monks unfurled banners reading “Take your protest to Kilinochchi,” referring to the de facto rebel capital in northern Sri Lanka where hundreds have been killed in the last week.

Angry protesters then pulled the monks from the stage and burned their banners, local television showed. There were no reported injuries.

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