COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s air force bombed Tamil Tiger rebel territory in the island’s east for a second day on Thursday amid a spat over water supplies, a military source said, but there were no details on casualties.
The government accuses the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of blocking water supplies to farmland in Trincomalee, where the government and rebels both control territory. The LTTE blames the military.
The government said it had launched the air strikes in an effort to help irrigation engineers reach the area.
“The military is attacking select targets to clear access to a water tank (reservoir),” a military source told Reuters.
The aerial bombardment comes as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres is visiting the island to assess the plight of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by a two-decade civil war.
The bombing raid is the latest in a series of attacks and clashes between the military and the LTTE that many fear could rupture a 2002 ceasefire.
More than 800 people have been killed so far this year.
The UNHCR estimates there are about 315,000 long-term internally displaced people in Sri Lanka due to the protracted conflict, 67,000 of whom live in camps and around 247,000 of whom live with relatives and friends. There are another 125,000 Sri Lankan refugees abroad, 68,000 of them in neighbouring India. neighboring