Thursday, December 13, 2007
At least 18 killed in fresh Sri Lanka fighting
Fresh fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels across Sri Lanka's embattled north has left at least 18 dead
Fresh fighting between government forces and Tamil rebels across Sri Lanka's embattled north has left at least 18 dead, the defence ministry said Thursday.
A fragmentation mine targeting troops on patrol killed one policeman in the northern district of Vavuniya on Thursday, the military said, blaming the attack on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Elsewhere, troops reported killing 17 Tamil Tiger rebels in separate clashes across the northern regions during the 24 hours ending Thursday morning, the ministry said, placing government casualties at one soldier injured.
It brings to at least 265 the number of guerrillas the government says its forces have killed since the beginning of the month. Only a handful of government troops have been reported killed or injured in the same period.
No independent confirmation of the casualty claims were available, and there was no comment from the LTTE, who have been fighting for a Tamil homeland in the island's north and east since 1972.
Meanwhile, the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website accused Sri Lanka warplanes of bombing a civilian settlement in the rebel-held areas on Wednesday, injuring two people. There was no comment from the Sri Lankan airforce.