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Sri Lanka Continues Air Strikes on Rebel Positions


Sri Lanka's military has carried out a second day of air strikes on territory controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels.

Friday's strikes targeted a key rebel stronghold near Kilinochchi. Rebel leaders say several bombs were dropped during the strike. They did not report any casualties.

The government raids follow a bombing attack Thursday blamed on the rebel Tamil Tigers. The attack, which killed at least 64 people, was the deadliest since a 2002 cease-fire.

The blast and retaliatory strikes raised concern about the island's faltering peace process. Rebel leaders say the air strikes indicate the government is ready for war. The rebels said they would assess the situation and take what they called "appropriate action."

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said he remains committed to the country's 2002 cease-fire agreement, despite Thursday's deadly bombing attack of a passenger bus.

The Tamil rebels have denied responsibility and have condemned the attack. A spokesman said the bombing was aimed at discrediting the movement.

Washington called the bombing a terrorist attack and called for an end to violence. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the attack bears all the hallmarks of the Tamil Tiger rebels and is in clear violation of the cease-fire agreement the rebels say they are upholding.

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

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