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Rebels, troops clash in northern Sri Lanka
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07:06, September 24, 2007

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Fierce clashes have erupted between Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels and government troops in the northern Vavuniya district on Saturday and Sunday, defense officials said Sunday.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fired mortars against government troops at Periyathampanai and the troops retaliated fiercely, officials said.

At least two rebels and a soldier were killed while some eight rebels were injured in the clashes.

Also in the north, some nine members of the LTTE surrendered to the troops on Saturday, the police said.

In the eastern Trincomalee district's Uppuveli area, LTTE members were blamed by the police for firing at a paramilitary home guard on Saturday.

Also in the east, the police blamed the LTTE for attacking a political office of the LTTE's rival Karuna faction at Akkaraipattu in the early hours of Sunday.

A Karuna cadre was killed in the attack.

Armed clashes in the north and east continue despite the ongoing truce agreement backed by the Norwegian peace facilitators.

The government claims that rebels have been now limited to the north through a series of successful military operations in Eastern Province since July last year.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhala majority, the LTTE has been fighting the government since the mid-1980s to establish a separate homeland for the minority Tamils in the north and east.

Source: Xinhua

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