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Tamil Rebels Attack A Village, Kill 14 Civilians

June 11, 1996

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Tamil rebels raided a Sri Lankan village today, killing 14 people, and sank a gunboat in a separate attack on a navy base, the military said.

The Tamil Tiger rebels used machetes and firearms to kill the villagers, all members of the dominant Sinhalese ethnic group, at Lunu-Oya near Illavankulam, 90 miles north of Colombo, said military spokesman Tilak Dunuwille.

Four children were among the dead, and at least seven people were injured, he said.

The Tamils, who follow the Hindu religion, have been fighting since 1983 for a separate state, claiming the Buddhist Sinhalese discriminate against them. More than 42,000 people have been killed in the civil war.

In a raid before dawn today, rebels sneaked into the navy’s main base in the north and attacked three gunboats, officials said. One sank, a second toppled on to its side and a third was damaged.

Two sailors were believed drowned in the wreckage of the sunken 60-foot gunboat, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Twelve people were injured in the attack on the base on Karaitivu island, which is 30 miles from the nearest guerrilla-held territory.

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