Seven civilians killed: LTTE


Government soldiers shot dead seven civilians in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula after a grenade attack wounded three soldiers in the same area, a pro-rebel website reported on Friday. The victims were on their way to attend a birthday party on Thursday when troops opened fire with automatic rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the Tamilnet website said.

The defence ministry said troops fired at two three-wheel taxis transporting the men when they tried to attack an army sentry point.

“A huge blast in the second three-wheeler caused deaths,” the ministry said, suggesting they were carrying explosives. However military sources said the soldiers fired an RPG into the taxis and suspected that the dead were members of the LTTE.