The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Sri Lankan military says 60 rebels, 6 soldiers killed in fighting in the north

Sri Lankan troops fought ethnic Tamil rebels along the front lines of their civil war in the north in a series of battles that killed 60 guerrillas and six soldiers, the military said Sunday.

It was not possible to get independent accounts of the clashes because the war zone is restricted to journalists. Both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels often exaggerate their enemy's casualties and underreport their own.

In the worst of the reported fighting, 25 rebels and two soldiers were killed when the military took control of what it said was a small but important slice of territory in northern Mannar district Saturday.

Clashes in Welioya district killed 14 rebels and three soldiers, the military said in a statement. Another 21 insurgents and a soldier were killed Saturday in scattered battles across Vavuniya and Jaffna districts, the military said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.

Source: IHT