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20 rebels killed in northern Sri Lanka
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20:48, September 24, 2007

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The Sri Lankan military said Monday that around 20 Tamil Tigers rebels were killed in a fierce confrontation with government troops in the northern Jaffna peninsula in the morning.

The Media Center for National Security said in a statement that the troops successfully foiled an attempt of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to breach the Kilali Forward Defense Line early Monday morning.

The rebels were killed by the troops in retaliatory strikes and two LTTE bunkers were also destroyed in the battle.

One soldier was killed while five others sustained injuries in the confrontation, officials said.

However, there is no independent verification of the number of rebels killed by government troops.

Officials said the military and the LTTE have been clashing regularly in the north since Friday.

Fighting continues in the island country despite the ongoing Norwegian backed truce agreement.

International community's pleas on both sides to return to the negotiating process have not resulted in the receding of violence.

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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