Sri Lanka attacks rebels despite truce appeal

Sri Lankan forces attacked a rebel-held village in the north with heavy machine gun fire early Monday, just hours after rejecting the Tamil Tigers' call for a truce as a ploy to avoid certain destruction, a rebel-linked Web site reported. The military attacked the small, coastal village of Mullivaikal from the north, south and west about 3:45 a.m. Monday, TamilNet reported. The village is in a no-fire zone the government demarcated inside rebel territory as a civilian refuge. The Web site said the area was densely populated with tens of thousands of civilians. "Confrontations are taking place," military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. "We are moving forward." The assault came amid growing diplomatic pressure for a cease-fire to allow tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the war zone to escape to safety.