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5 Civilians Die in Sri Lanka Violence


Police in northern Sri Lanka say five civilians have been found shot to death on the Jaffna peninsula.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the killings.

In a separate incident, two sailors were wounded Wednesday when an anti-personnel mine exploded in northern Mannar district.

Bomb attacks against Sri Lankan security personnel have surged recently, and a wave of violence during the past week has killed at least 60 people.

A Norwegian peace envoy held talks with Sri Lanka's prime minister in Colombo today, trying to save a fragile ceasefire agreement between the government and Tamil rebels. No details are available about the meeting between Jon Hanssen-Bauer and Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake. The Norwegian envoy will meet with Tamil rebel leaders on Thursday.

The rebels have said Sunday they will not go to Geneva, where talks with the government are scheduled for next week, until their regional leaders throughout Sri Lanka can gather for an internal meeting.

The island nation's separatist rebels have been fighting for 30 years to establish an ethnic Tamil homeland in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP .
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