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Sri Lanka Police Station Attacked

October 12, 1997

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Separatist rebels attacked a police station in northwestern Sri Lanka Sunday, killing eight police and soldiers, a military official said.

Reinforcements rushed to the Murunkan station, 130 miles north of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital and at least four attackers died before the Tamil guerrillas fled, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The fighting came a day after 10 people were killed in two separate attacks in Sri Lanka, where the Tamil rebels have been waging a 14-year fight for a separate homeland in the country’s northeast.

Navy gun boats attacked two rebel boats near Kachchativu, an island off Sri Lanka’s northwestern coast, destroying one and killing at least six rebels aboard, said military spokesman Col. R.P. Vitana.

In a separate incident Saturday, rebels killed four civilians in the northeastern Polonnaruwa district, he said.

Meanwhile, the rebels claimed government war planes had bombed a hospital in northern Sri Lanka Saturday, disrupting an effort by the U.N. Children’s Fund to vaccinate children against polio.

The government had earlier ordered the military to observe a few days of ``tranquillity″ in September and in October to allow the immunization program to go on.

Military officials weren’t immediately available to comment on the Tamil charges.

The Tamils say they’re seeking independence because they’re discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese. More than 50,000 people have been killed since the fighting began in 1983.

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