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Home >> World
UPDATED: 20:46, June 06, 2007
Nearly 80 killed in northern Sri Lanka fighting
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Nearly 80 combatants from both Sri Lanka's government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels had been killed in last three days of fighting in the island's north, a government military spokesman said on Wednesday.

Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said that some 61 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and 15 army troopers were killed in fighting since Saturday night at Omanthai forward defense line in the northern district of Vavuniya.

"We have 15 bodies of soldiers while 13 of them are missing," Samarasinghe said.

The Tiger rebels had fired artillery and mortars at the Army west of Omanthai since Saturday evening and the military had fired back.

The rebels claimed that they had inflicted heavy casualties on the Army while destroying an artillery gun position and an ammunition store.

The violence in north and east of the island continue unabated despite the ongoing Norwegian backed ceasefire agreement of February 2002.

Over 5,000 people have been killed in the upsurge of clashes since the end of 2005.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of the majority ethnic Sinhalese-dominated government, the LTTE has been fighting for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's 12.5 percent Tamil minority since the 1970s.

Source: Xinhua

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