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Sri Lanka's PM Vows to Continue Attacks on Rebels


Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake has vowed to continue attacks against Tamil Tiger targets until the government eradicates terrorism from the country.

Mr. Wickramanayake told parliament Thursday the government attacks are carefully planned to minimize civilian casualties.

His remarks came a day after two bombings in the capital Colombo blamed on Tamil Tigers killed at least 19 people and wounded more than 40 others.

Sri Lanka's military set up checkpoints throughout Colombo, asking people to remain vigilant after Wednesday's bombings.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks. London-based Amnesty International called on Tamil Tiger rebels to comply with international law and not target civilians.

In other violence Thursday, the Sri Lankan military said seven rebels were killed and several rebel bunkers destroyed in the northern Jaffna peninsula.

In the first attack Wednesday, a handicapped woman blew herself up outside the office of the ethnic Tamil social welfare minister, Douglas Devananda. The minister was unhurt but his secretary was killed and two other people wounded.

Hours later, a bomb planted at a popular department store in a Colombo suburb exploded during the evening rush hour, killing at least 17 people and wounding nearly 40 others.

Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting since 1983 to create a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, claiming discrimination by the Sinhalese majority.

Some 70,000 people have been killed and fighting continues despite a 2002 cease-fire.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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