The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Sri Lankan military says 5 Tamil rebels, 3 soldiers killed in fighting in the north

Clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north killed five Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers, while air force jets bombed a rebel training camp, the military said Saturday.

The combatants were killed Friday in four separate clashes in the Jaffna, Mannar and Welioya regions, the military said in a statement.

On Saturday, fighter jets bombed a rebel training camp near their de facto capital of Kilinochchi, the statement said. It did not give details on any damage or casualties.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.

It was not possible to obtain independent accounts of the battles because reporters have been barred from the war zone. Each side often exaggerates the other's casualty figures while underreporting its own.

Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent state in the island's north and east for ethnic minority Tamils who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.

Source: IHT