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Fighting Erupts Again After End of Canal Blockade by Sri Lankan Rebels


New fighting has been reported between troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's northeastern Trincomalee district after both sides tried to take credit for ending a blockade of water supplies there.

The government said Wednesday they had regained the control of the irrigation canal that had been blocked by the rebels. The two-week blockade triggered fierce fighting between the two sides that left more than 400 people dead.

The new fighting also is taking place around the canal. There are no confirmed reports so far on casualties.

The canal supplies water to tens of thousands of villagers in government-controlled territory in the Trincomalee district.

Earlier Wednesday, the rebels said they ended the blockade Tuesday as a goodwill gesture.

The rebels also accused government forces of carrying out two roadside bombings in Tamil-held territory.

The rebels say one blast killed five people in an ambulance Tuesday in Vavuniya district, while a second blast took place today in the same area, but did not cause casualties.

Tamil rebels often accuse government troops of sneaking into rebel territory to stage attacks, but the military denies the charge.

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