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Sri Lankan separatists raid a bank in their heartland

About 100 Tamil separatists blew open the state-owned National Savings Bank in the northern city of Jaffna Wednesday and escaped with a safe, officials said.

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Jaffna is the home of the Tamil-speaking minority on Sri Lanka. Separatists have been fighting for ''Eelam,'' or an independent homeland. Authorities have imposed tight censorship on the strife-torn region and a virtual curfew across the province.

The Colombo government has charged that Tamil rebels operating from India's southernmost state, Tamil Nadu, have ''declared war'' on Sri Lanka. India claims it has only Tamil refugees, no terrorists.

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