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Sri Lankan Rebels Say Civilians Killed in Military Bomb Attack


Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels say new government air raids have killed 14 people, but the military denies that civilians were targeted in the attacks.

A rebel statement Tuesday said fighter jets dropped bombs on Mannar in northwest Sri Lanka, destroying residential homes. It said six children were among those killed, and that dozens of other civilians were wounded.

But the military strongly denied targeting civilians. A military spokesman said one raid focused on a rebel naval base in Mannar, while another air attack was carried out on a rebel position in the east.

Violence has flared in Sri Lanka despite a 2002 truce between the government and rebels, who are fighting for independence. More than 3,000 people were killed last year.

Since 1983, some 67,000 civilians, troops and rebels have died in the conflict.

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

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