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Last updated: 18 April, 2006 - Published 14:31 GMT
 
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Trinco residents fleeing violence
 
Trincomalee after blasts (photo RG Dharmadasa)
There were reports of looting and shops were burnt after bomb blasts
Residents in the eastern Sri Lankan town of Trincomalee are fleeing the town due to increased violence in the recent weeks.

More than 200 Sinhala and Tamil refugee families are staying in two temporary refugee camps set up in local schools.

Journalists say many Sinhala residents have also left the town though Muslims are yet to decide whether to leave.

Troincoamlee Divaina correspondent Saman Mallawarachchi told BBC Sandeshaya that many Muslims in Mihindupura are staying nights in the nearby Jumma Mosque.

200 families in camps

141 Tamil families are taking refuge in Ambalipuram school while 92 Sinhala families are in Tholankadu Bharathee school, he said.

Andakulam, Mihindupura, Pahekanuwa and Sardapura are also fleeing their homes fearing more violence.

Relatives of the dead waiting for bodies after the explosion in vegetable market
At least 17 were killed in an explosion in the vegetable market

At least 17, including civilians and security service personnel, were killed in bomb attacks and riots on Wednesday, as communities were preparing for Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations.

The government accused the Tamil Tigers of trying to provoke communal violence by continuous attacks aimed at security forces.

'Unofficial curfew'

The Tigers have accused paramilitaries allegedly linked to the security forces of killing a senior Tamil activist, V Vigneshawaran, who was to be appointed as a parliamentarian.

Trincomalee Divisional Secretary A Arumaynayagam said that the refugees in the schools are offered dry ratios from Tuesday.

Mallawarachchi said many do not go out after 6pm opt to stay in dark inside houses.

Police has re-imposed curfew in the town from 8pm SLT.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
SL govt. and LTTE talk of 'obstacles'
16 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
LTTE rejects government transport
15 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
Donors: talks should go ahead
14 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
LTTE arousing communal violence - Govt.
13 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
Trincomalee blasts
12 April, 2006 | Highlights
Trincomalee 'calm' after curfew
12 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
Trinco victims pledged compensation
12 April, 2006 | Sandeshaya
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