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Suspected Tamil Suicide Bomber Kills 2 in Eastern Sri Lanka


A Sri Lankan official says a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated his explosives Sunday, killing two members of a Tiger breakaway faction.

The military official says the bombing occurred in the eastern district of Batticaloa when the bike-riding bomber rammed into a motorbike carrying the two members of the rival group.

In other violence, Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry says three soldiers and more than 40 rebel Tamil Tigers were killed in battles Saturday, as the government fights to gain control of rebel-held territory in the north.

In a statement Sunday, the ministry said the fatal clashes occurred in Wanni and Jaffna. It says another five rebels and 26 soldiers were wounded in the fighting. The casualty figures cannot be independently confirmed.

The ministry adds that the operation in the north is ongoing.

Violence on the island has escalated, particularly near rebel strongholds in the north, since the government withdrew from a cease-fire with the Tigers last month.

The rebels have been fighting for an independent homeland in the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka for more than two decades.

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