Sri Lanka's military pounded Tamil rebel territory in the north with air strikes and artillery after army bases came under heavy fire from the insurgents, an official said yesterday.
"The [rebels] began attacking us on Thursday. We have been retaliating since then," military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said.
Samarasinghe said the attacks continued through Friday night, but he did not immediately have details about yesterday morning.
Several soldiers suffered minor injuries in the exchange of fire near Kilali, close to the de facto border between government and rebel-held territory in the north, he said.
There was no immediate word from the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam about casualties.
Elsewhere in the country, two separate bomb blasts in the north and east killed two people and wounded 10, including four school girls, witnesses and the government said.
It wasn't immediately clear who was responsible for Friday's blasts, but suspicion quickly fell on Tamil rebels.
The rebels fought a 19-year war with the Sinhalese-dominated government before a 2002 ceasefire. Rebel officials were not immediately available for comment.
In northern Vavuniya, a bomb hidden with a dead body in a three-wheeled taxi exploded on Friday morning, wounding six people, witnesses and the government said.
Four ethnic Tamil schoolgirls, between the ages of 11 and 14, a policeman and a civilian were wounded, according to officials at the hospital in Vavuniya, where they were taken.
In a separate incident, a bomb exploded outside a shop in eastern Batticaloa killing a soldier and a passer-by and wounding three more civilians and another soldier, area police officer Maxi Proctor said.
The military blamed the Tamil Tigers for the blast.
The bombings occurred in Sri Lanka's Jaffna Peninsula, which has long been a flash point for violence in the country's nearly two-decade civil war between the Sinhalese-dominated state and the Tamil rebels, who consider Jaffna to be the heart of Tamil culture.
The Tigers lost control of the peninsula in 1995 but still hold vast swaths of territory in the north, just south of Jaffna.
The 19-year conflict cost the lives of about 65,000 people before a 2002 cease-fire.
That truce is now on the verge of collapse as months of escalating shootings and bomb blasts have turned into near-daily air strikes and mortar fire.
Meanwhile, a navy ship left the Jaffna Peninsula with 800 passengers who had been stranded there for nearly a month by the heavy fighting, navy spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake said.
The main road connecting Jaffna to the rest of the country was closed, and air and sea transport came to a halt because of the fighting, causing inconvenience to thousands of people.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
It was a much-anticipated milestone likely hastened by COVID-19: New Zealand has reached a population of 5 million people, after citizens and residents rushed home when borders began to close due to the pandemic. New Zealand grew from 4 million to 5 million in 17 years, the quickest rate of growth in the nation’s modern history, Statistics New Zealand said. Migration has been the chief driver for the population of the island-nation, which increased by half a million people in the past six years alone. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has caused unusual international travel and migration patterns in recent months,” Statistics New
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made