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Sri Lankan Peace Talks in Doubt


Talks in Geneva between the Sri Lankan government and Tamil Tiger rebels are in doubt, after rebel commanders canceled a meeting with the rebel leadership.

The Tamil commanders were on their way to a northern base for the talks with their leaders, but canceled because they said a naval ship monitoring them was too close.

The rebels had said Saturday's meeting was important for peace talks with the government that were to begin April 24th.

A negotiator for the Tamil Tigers' peace secretariat told the Associated Press that rebels would not attend the peace talks in Geneva without a meeting first with the rebel leadership.

The chief negotiator for the government's peace secretariat, Palitha Kohona, said that there is "serious doubt" about whether the rebels want to go to Geneva.

In other developments Saturday, two mines planted in the north by suspected rebels killed seven soldiers and wounded several others.

Violence in recent months is the worst since a 2002 truce. Some 50 people were killed in violence in the past week alone.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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