M A I N   N E W S

1 dies in Lanka attack on LTTE

Colombo, April 26
At least one civilian was killed and nine wounded, including two Sri Lankan navy sailors, in fresh strikes launched by the Sri Lankan air force against the Tamil Tigers today.

Air force jets bombed the Muttur Old jetty in Trincomalee district while on a mission to bomb Tamil Tiger positions, a military official said.

At least one civilian was killed and nine others wounded when one jet missed its intended target and hit a jetty.

Meanwhile, the rebels protested against the bombings, saying those were a violation of their ceasefire agreement.

They asked truce monitors if the ceasefire was off, the pro-rebel website Tamilnet said.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka vowed to continue co-ordinated retaliatory attacks on selected targets in LTTE-held areas while still claiming to be committed to the peace process.

Addressing a press conference, Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said, “The known targets were taken on by aircraft as well as by the Army to repulse LTTE attacks after careful considerations”.

He said the government was concerned about national security, but was still committed to continue the shaky peace process and the ceasefire agreement.

“The ceasefire agreement is still on and we are trying our best through Norwegian facilitators, Nordic truce monitors and donor co-chairs to bring the LTTE to the negotiating table”, he said.

He refuted media allegations that the Tamil people were the targets of the attack and said there was no discriminatory bombing.

Asked how long the government would continue its aerial attacks, government spokesman on defence matters Keheliya Rambukwella said the coordinated retaliation in the form of defence would be continued as long as the LTTE continued attacking government forces. — PTI, UNI

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