Sri Lanka targets rebel positions
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- Sri Lankan troops are targeting Tamil Tiger rebel positions one day after a suicide bomber killed at least six people in the capital of Colombo.
The female bomber blew herself up next to a heavily-guarded convoy of Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who was severely wounded in Tuesday's attack.
The military attacks on Tamil positions started after the bombing, the first direct government action against the rebels since a 2002 cease-fire was brokered by Norway.
The air force targeted sites in the northeastern district of Trincomalee around 6 a.m. (12:30 a.m. GMT), killing at least 10 people, rebel sources said Wednesday. Twelve hours earlier, airstrikes hit the same area, but there were no reports of casualties or damage.
While the Tamils have not claimed responsibility for Tuesday's suicide bombing, the government says they are responsible and the attack could derail peace talks.
Already delayed once, peace talks were to be held later this month in Geneva, Switzerland. Although the rebels had backed out of the talks, they contend they are still committed to the peace process.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels have been seeking their own homeland in the north and east of the island nation which lies to the south of India.
More than 30 Sri Lankan soldiers and sailors have been killed this month in sporadic attacks blamed on the Tigers.
The bomber was seen near the main entrance of army headquarters in Colombo, where people seeking treatment at the army hospital often gathered, when she detonated her explosives, the military said.
Scandinavian truce monitors issued a statement Tuesday saying it was too early to draw "any immediate conclusions about the possible perpetrators."
For its part, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission condemned the suicide attack, calling on the government to "refrain from any retaliatory actions."
Shortly after the suicide bombing, Tigers attacked the Sri Lankan Navy in Trincomalee, according to a government statement.
There were no details on that attack, which prompted security forces to launch "an operation to deter further attacks by the LTTE," the government said.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement through his spokesman Tuesday, strongly condemning "the rapidly escalating violence on the island."
Annan has urged the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE "to summon the political will to resume their dialogue under the facilitation of the Norwegian government."
More than 65,000 people on both sides have been killed since the Tamil Tigers began fighting in 1983 to create a separate state for Sri Lanka's 3.2 million Tamils, alleging discrimination by the country's 14 million Sinhalese.
Journalist Iqbal Athas contributed to this report
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