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|Monday, March 26, 2001, updated at 07:58(GMT+8)|
Sri Lankan Govt Forces Kill 5 Tamil Tiger RebelsAt least five separatist Tamil Tiger rebels were killed by Sri Lankan government forces in the north of the country on Saturday, the Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
Government forces attacked a group of about 30 rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Etawetunuwewa area overnight on Saturday, the ministry said.
It said intercepted rebel radio transmission confirmed that four Tiger rebels were killed while government forces believed that 10 rebels had either been killed or seriously injured.
On the same day government forces also killed a Tiger rebel at Nagarkovil, the ministry added.
The LTTE extended on Thursday their unilateral ceasefire by one more month till April 24 and warned that they would break it if the government wound not respond positively. Their ceasefire began on Christmas Eve last year.
The government has maintained that a reciprocal ceasefire is possible only after talks between the two sides made substantive progress.
The LTTE rebels have been fighting against government forces since 1983 in the north and east of the country for a separate Tamil state. So far more than 60,000 people have been killed in the bloody war.
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