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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 July 2006, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Sri Lankan soldiers die in blast
Two Sri Lankan army personnel have been killed and at least 12 injured in a landmine attack by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels, officials say.

"An army bus was hit by a Claymore mine on the Jaffna peninsula," military spokesman Brigadier P Samarasinghe is quoted as saying by Reuters.

The attack comes after one person was killed in a similar attack on Tuesday.

Violence has spiralled in Sri Lanka in recent months, claiming about 700 lives and undermining a 2002 truce.

There has been no comment on the latest attack by the rebels in which one officer and a soldier were killed.

"Two officers, eight soldiers and two policemen escaped with injuries," Brig Samarasinghe said.

'Suicide bomber held'

Separately, the Sri Lankan government announced that a suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber had been arrested in the southern town of Tissamaharama, which is in President Mahinda Rajapakse's constituency.

Wounded Sri Lankan soldier
Violence has been on the rise in Sri Lanka

The government's spokesman, Keheliya Rambukwella, said the woman - whose name was witheld - was arrested on Sunday.

Tissamaharama is also close to a famous multi-religious temple complex in Kataragama.

On Tuesday, a civilian was killed and six others injured when a Claymore mine exploded on the Jaffna peninsula.

In a separate incident, six labourers were wounded in a blast in the eastern district of Trincomalee which officials blamed on the Tamil Tigers.

Truce fears

Sweden has joined efforts to save the faltering ceasefire with its envoy, Andres Oljelund, meeting Sri Lankan government officials.

He is due to meet Tamil Tiger rebels later this week.

The rebels and the government say they still stand by the truce deal - but with rising unrest, the peace exists only on paper, correspondents say.

Many victims of the violence have been civilians and members of the security forces.

Many Tamil civilians have also been killed - by the security forces or affiliated paramilitary units, the rebels allege. Others blame some of those deaths on the rebels or other armed groups.

More than 60,000 people have died in Sri Lanka since the rebels began their fight for independence for minority Tamils in the 1970s.

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