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45 civilians killed by army: Tigers

Colombo, Nov. 8 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels said 45 civilians were killed and 125 hurt today when army artillery fire hit a camp for internally displaced, as renewed civil war deepens.

The military said the Tigers had been firing at military camps in the restive east since early morning, wounding five soldiers, and that troops had retaliated with artillery and mortar bomb fire, but had no details of any civilian casualties.

Nordic truce monitors and Red Cross officials were on the way to the site of the incident in Kathiraveli in the eastern district of Batticaloa, the latest in a series of clashes in a new chapter of the island's two-decade ethnic conflict.

“They have hit a camp for displaced. So far 45 have died and 125 are injured — all civilians,” S.Puleedevan, head of the Tigers' Peace Secretariat, said.

The Red Cross said their aid workers had seen 18 corpses as well as 50 wounded taken to nearby Vakarai hospital. Puleedevan said he was visiting the northern town of Pooneryn, near the army-held Jaffna peninsula.

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