- Title: SRI LANKA: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers raid army-backed paramilitaries
- Date: 30th April 2006
- Summary: (W3) POLLANNARUWA, NORTH-CENTRAL, SRI LANKA (APRIL 30, 2006) (REUTERS) INJURED FIGHTER BEEN WHEELED INTO THE WAR INTERIOR OF HOSPITAL WARD PATIENT BEEN TRANSFERRED TO BED PATIENT WITH INJURED HAND DOCTOR LOOKING AT PATIENT ANOTHER PATIENT IN BED INJURIES TO LEG SIGNING PAPERS
- Embargoed: 15th May 2006 13:00
- Location: Sri Lanka
- Country: Sri Lanka
- Topics: Defence / Military
- Reuters ID: LVAA8VM8QUHLT8U1LB32H9Q0ZIMX
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels raided camps belonging to renegade ex-rebels on Sunday (April 30) and killed 20, a Tiger official said, as fears of a return to war ran high.
Eight injured from the attack were taken to the region's main hospital in Pollannaruwa.
The rebels say the government uses fighters led by former Tiger eastern commander Karuna Amman as "army-backed paramilitaries" to attack the mainstream Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) -- a charge the government denies.
A rebel spokesman said the rebels had come under artillery fire from nearby army camps during the attack, but were withdrawing back behind their own lines with only one Tiger fighter wounded. Twenty Karuna fighters were killed and 15 wounded, he said.
A Karuna aide confirmed the attack but disputed figures, telling Reuters that only five had been killed and seven wounded. The army denied there had been any shelling, and said all they knew was there had been fighting between Tiger and Karuna forces in jungle areas not really controlled by either side. They have always denied knowing where the Karuna camps were, but Nordic truce monitors said the army, at best, turns a blind eye.
The past three weeks have been the bloodiest since a 2002 ceasefire with more than 120 people, possibly many more, killed in suspected Tiger attacks on the military, ethnic riots, government air strikes and murders of civilians on both sides.
Peace talks due to take place in Switzerland have been indefinitely postponed because of wrangling over the transport of eastern rebel leaders to their headquarters for a pre-talks meeting.
Analysts said that ultimately the key issue for the Tigers, whose two-decade fight for an ethnic Tamil homeland has killed more than 64,000 on both sides, was stopping Karuna.
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