Sri Lanka

Rebels accused of stepping up attacks in eastern Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Jul 13, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The government troops in Sri Lanka 's eastern port town of Trincomalee have accused the Tamil Tigers of stepping up attacks against them.

In the early hours of Wednesday, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had caused injuries to four soldiers in two separate incidents, defense officials said.

In the first incident at 1:10 a.m. local time (1910 GMT Tuesday) a military guard point near a tsunami refugee camp at Periyapalam had come under a bomb and gun fire attack injuring three soldiers and a 4-year-old child.

At 4:30 a.m. (2230 GMT Tuesday) at China Bay a hand grenade was thrown at a soldier causing injuries, the Army said.

Two more incidents had taken place late night on Tuesday in the region, but no one was injured in both incidents.

Early on Tuesday three separate incidents had taken place, injuring some 14 policemen, three of them are in critical condition.

The attacks came after the killing of four LTTE members on Sunday in Uppuveli by the alleged LTTE rival faction led by Karuna.

The LTTE in a statement issued late on Sunday blamed the security forces for its complicity to the attack saying the troops had been in the area just prior to the attack.

Brigadier Daya Ratnayake, the defense ministry spokesman denied the accusation saying that it was the habit of the rebels to blame every attack on the military.

The Tigers backed Tamil organization, the Trincomalee District Tamil People's Forum observed a shut down in the region Tuesday protesting against Sunday's killing of the LTTE members.