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Sri Lanka Says Troops End Rebel Blockade of Canal in Trincomalee


Sri Lanka's military says its troops have re-opened a water supply canal in the country's northeast that was blockaded by Tamil rebels more than two weeks ago.

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

Sri Lanka's military said Wednesday its offensive in Trincomalee had achieved its humanitarian goal of restoring water for local residents.

But, Tamil rebels say they re-opened the sluice gates Tuesday as a good-will gesture following a request by Norway, which has been trying to mediate a ceasefire.

Sri Lankan forces launched their offensive in late July after the rebels set up their blockade. The recent fighting has claimed more than 400 lives.

In other violence, a car bomb exploded in the capital, Colombo, on Tuesday, killing at least two people, including a child, and wounding seven others.

Police say the bomb was aimed at a Tamil politician who has been critical of the rebels. The politician was wounded in the attack.

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