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Powerful landmine blast kills 3 soldiers in Sri Lanka

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 23, IRNA
Sri Lanka-Blast
Three soldiers were killed and two others wounded in a powerful landmine blast in eastern Sri Lanka today as Norway's peace envoy arrived here to save the tottering truce.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) carried out the attack in the district of Batticaloa, Colombo, PTI reported here quoting a military official.

He said the victims were looking for mines along the road when the blast took place.

This latest attack raises to 149 the number of people killed in a fresh wave of violence since December.

The explosion came as Norway's top peace envoy, Erik Solheim, arrived in Colombo in a bid to jumpstart the island's stalled peace process and salvage a troubled truce amid fears that the island could slip back to full-scale war.

Hours before Solheim landed in Colombo, LTTE-held Kilinochchi on Wednesday prepared for talks with Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran.

Solheim is due to meet with the visiting US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns today. The two are expected to exert pressure on the LTTE to halt their attacks and resume talks.

Burns will have no direct talks with the Tigers as US policy bans talks with terrorists, but Solheim is due to meet Prabhakaran on Wednesday before leaving the island on Thursday.



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