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Muslims Flee Expecting Rebel Attack in Eastern Sri Lanka

Thousands of Muslims are fleeing their homes in eastern Sri Lanka for the second time in two months after a purported rebel group warned it is planning an assault.

Witnesses in Trincomalee province say more than 1,000 people are stranded Sunday on the coast of Mutur as they await a ferry to take them to a nearby island.

People living in the mostly Muslim town say Tamil rebels distributed leaflets warning that the rebels plan to attack the now government-held territory. Residents say the notices warned people to leave the town immediately.

Fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels displaced thousands of people from Mutur in August.

Tamil rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland for ethnic-minority Tamils since 1983. They accuse the Sinhalese-dominated government of oppression.

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