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Sri Lankan Tamil Rebels Threaten Retaliation for Military Operations

In Sri Lanka, a Tamil Tiger rebel leader has threatened to hurt the majority Sinhalese population for what he called the "absolute misery" inflicted on ethnic Tamils by weeks of government shelling.

Tamil Tigers' political wing chief S. P. Thamilselvan made the threat Wednesday during talks with Norway's Ambassador Hans Brattskar in the rebel-held town of Kilinochchi.

There was no immediate reaction from either the government or the Norwegian peace brokers.

Thamilselvan said the rebels see the military's capture of a Tiger-held town of Sampur on Monday as an end to the 2002 ceasefire. The military said it took control of the town because the rebels were using it to shell a nearby naval base.

Thamilselvan also criticized the international community for not doing anything when government troops were inflicting misery on the Tamils.

The Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka since the early 1980s. Tens of thousands of people have died in the fighting.

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