Rival Tamil Tiger factions clash in Sri Lanka: 1 dead, 2 wounded

Rival factions of the Tamil Tiger rebels clashed in eastern Sri Lanka, killing one combatant and wounding two others, police said Thursday.

The fighting took place in areas under the control of the mainstream rebel group in Batticaloa district, said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity. A senior military officer in the capital Colombo confirmed that troops in the area reported hearing gunfire late Wednesday, but could not confirm the casualties.

The reported killing came ahead of Feb. 22-23 talks in Geneva between the government and the main Tamil Tiger group.

The Tigers accuse the government of backing a breakaway faction and want the government to disarm that group before proceeding further with the peace talks. The government denies backing the splinter group, reports the AP.

I.L.