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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 08:30 GMT
Policemen die in Sri Lanka attack
Sri Lankan soldier
The Sri Lankan military claims it is pushing back the rebel lines
Suspected rebels detonated a landmine in northern Sri Lanka, killing two police officers, the military said.

The bomb went off just before 0800 local time as the officers drove by on a motorbike in the town of Vavuniya.

Meanwhile, dozens of Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in weekend clashes in the northern districts, the army said.

Last month the government formally pulled out of a truce, which rising violence had already effectively ended. The ceasefire was signed in 2002.

Increased hostilities

"In Vavuniya the Tamil Tiger rebels exploded a Claymore landmine targeting a police motorcycle. One sub-inspector and a police constable died," news agency Reuters quoted military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara as saying.

He said 35 rebels and one soldier were killed in a series of clashes on Sunday, in addition to the 40 rebels and six soldiers who were slain on Saturday, the agency reported.

There has been no comment from the rebels yet.

Hostilities have increased between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels since January when the government formally ended a ceasefire with the rebels.

Fighting had been going on in the north and east of the island for about two years, despite the truce.

The Tigers control a swathe of territory in the north of the island and are fighting for an independent state.

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