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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 June 2006, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
'Eight die' in Sri Lanka attacks
Soldiers inspect the site of the bomb explosion
The blast near Colombo was the first there since April
Two policemen and six civilians have died in a series of attacks in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, officials say.

The policemen and one civilian died in a mine blast near Vavuniya. Elsewhere, four Tamils and a security guard were killed in three separate attacks.

In the south, two people were hurt in a bomb attack blamed on Tamil rebels outside a naval base near Colombo.

More than 300 people have died in two months of rising violence in Sri Lanka, despite a ceasefire agreed in 2002.

Claymore mine

The latest attacks come as the government and the Tamil Tigers prepare for talks in Oslo on Thursday, over the safety of international truce monitors.

One of the Tamils killed overnight was said to be a former member of the EPDP - a Tamil political party that opposes the rebels.

He and a woman relative were shot dead in the Kayts islands off the northern Jaffna peninsula. Military officials blame the Tamil Tiger rebels for the killings.

Last month, 13 Tamils were shot in Kayts - an investigation into that attack is still under way.

Separately, the bodies of two Tamils who locals said were civilians were found in the eastern Trincomalee region. They had been shot in the head.

The policemen who died in the Vavuniya area of northern Sri Lanka were returning from work when a claymore mine exploded, officials say. Two other officers and two civilians, one a boy of four, were hurt in the blast.

In the town of Vavuniya itself another policeman was seriously injured in a shooting incident.

Meanwhile, unidentified gunmen shot dead a private security guard at the main hospital in the eastern town of Batticaloa.

Naval base

Officials say the bomb outside Colombo, believed to be an anti-personnel mine, was intended to hit a naval convoy.

They carried out the attack in a built-up area risking the lives of civilians
PDK Dassanayake
Navy spokesman

The bomb exploded as a bus pulled up outside the Welisara navy camp, injuring the driver and a conductor.

The navy camp is close to a highway connecting Colombo with the country's only international airport.

No group has said it carried out the attack, but the government pointed the finger at the rebels.

"It is obviously the work of the Tamil Tigers," navy spokesman PDK Dassanayake told the AFP news agency.

"We are not sure if they targeted a civilian bus or were aiming at a navy vehicle. But they carried out the attack in a built-up area risking the lives of civilians."

It was the first attack near Colombo since April, when at least eight people were killed and the head of the army seriously injured by a suicide bomber at Sri Lanka's army headquarters.

The military blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attack and launched air strikes on their positions in the east of the island.

See the aftermath of the bomb attack

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