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|Thursday, June 01, 2000, updated at 08:20(GMT+8)|
S.Lankan Troops Repel Rebel OffensiveThe Sri Lankan government said Wednesday its troops had repelled an all-out offensive by Tamil Tiger rebels and seized a cache of arms in the northern Jaffna peninsula.
A government statement said Tamil Tigers Tuesday had mounted an attack at Chemmani, Colombuturai and Chavakachcheri, all in the Jaffna peninsula but were repelled by the army, leaving seven rebels dead.
"Troops retaliated effectively causing terrorists to withdraw. Troops did not suffer any casualties," said the statement.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, fighting for a separate state for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east since 1983, have been engaged in a ferocious assault in recent weeks in a bid to retake their former stronghold of Jaffna. Troops had also seized a large haul of weapons left behind by retreating Tigers at Ariyalai and Chavakachcheri, said the statement.
It said the arms haul included assault rifles, machine guns and 81 mm mortars, a global positioning system and night vision glasses.
Jaffna peninsula, 400 kilometers north of the capital, is the cultural and political capital of Tamils and the focus of the LTTE's plan for an independent state.
The LTTE rebels were driven out of Jaffna in December 1995.
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