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Tamil Paper Reports New Air Raids

June 18, 1987

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ A newspaper said today the Sri Lankan air force renewed air raids on the Tamil rebel-dominated northern Jaffna Peninsula after a week’s lapse and wounded more than 100 people.

The Tamil-language newspaper Virakesari said air attacks Wednesday damaged a government hospital in the village of Tellipalai, about nine miles north of Jaffna, and two Hindu temples in the neighboring village of Kattuwan.

There was no independent confirmation of the report because the government cut communications with the peninsula in January. There was no immediate report from the government on air activity.

The injured were moved to the government hospital in Jaffna, about 190 miles north of Colombo, Virakesari said. It did not say if the injured were civilians or Tamil fighters.

The paper also reported Sri Lankan naval boats intensified patrols in the Palk Strait between the Jaffna Peninsula and southern India, where the major Tamil rebel groups have exile headquarters.

The military wound up an offensive against the rebels at the beginning of June. India demanded an end to the attacks and offered to renew efforts to bring the militants to negotiations.

The rebels have been fighting for nearly four years for a separate nation in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. Tamils, who are mostly Hindus, make up 18 percent of the country’s 16 million population.

They maintain they are discriminated against by the majority Sinhalese Buddhists, who control the government.

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