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Sri Lanka to reopen entry point to rebel territory

By Xinhua

Colombo : The northern most entry point to the Tamil Tiger rebel territory from areas under government control is to be reopened Monday, officials said Sunday.

The Omanthai point has been closed since Wednesday when the military claimed that the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels fired mortar and artillery fire in the area prompting the military to hit back.

Davide Vignati, the spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said they had received safety guarantees from both the military and the rebels to ensure the safety of the ICRC personnel at the Omanthai checkpoint.

The ICRC personnel had withdrawn from Omanthai when the clashes escalated Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the military said that at least three rebels were killed in northern Jaffna peninsula's Muhamalai forward defence line Saturday night. The LTTE rebels tried to infiltrate into a military camp in the area when the army fired at the rebels.

Surging violence in Sri Lanka's north and eastern battle zones has claimed nearly 4,000 lives since the end of 2005.