The Lanka Academic

 
FEBRUARY 22, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 8, NO. 322

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Military says 20 rebels, 1 soldier killed in fighting in northern Sri Lanka
Associated Press, Fri February 22, 2008 11:13 EST . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Scattered battles in the war-torn jungles of northern Sri Lanka - killed 20 separatist guerrillas and a soldier, the military said Friday, while the rebels accused the government of killing eight civilians in an airstrike.

The violence came as fighting between the two sides has sharply increased in recent weeks, with the government vowing to retake rebel-controlled territory and crush the Tamil Tigers after more than two decades of warfare.

On Friday, soldiers fired at a group of rebels who tried to infiltrate the government-held Welioya region, killing six guerrillas, the military said in a statement.

In fighting Thursday in the Mannar area along the Indian Ocean nation's west coast, troops killed three rebels who were trying to cross the front lines and two others in a separate confrontation, the military statement said. In nearby Vavuniya, troops killed nine fighters in two clashes, the military said.

A soldier was also killed in fighting Thursday on a third front in the Welioya area, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer calls seeking comment. Both sides commonly exaggerate their enemies' casualties while underplaying their own. Independent confirmation is unavailable because journalists are barred from the conflict zone.

Early Friday, air force jets hit an inland base used by the Sea Tigers, the rebels' naval arm, where some craft were hidden, Nanayakkara said without giving details of damage or casualties.

The rebels said the air raid hit a coastal village and killed eight civilians, including three children, and wounded 10 others.

``Five of the dead died instantly following the bombing and three more of the critically injured died later,'' stated an e-mail sent to reporters from the rebels' political wing.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils, who were marginalized for decades by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting.Discuss this story
Published: Fri Feb 22 13:05:39 EST 2008

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka says captures Tiger lines, kills 30 rebels  - reuters.com
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Military says 14 rebels, 1 soldier killed in fighting in northern Sri Lanka  - Associated Press

LTTE claim refuted
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The Defence Ministry said here the jets had bombed two artillery positions of the LTTE terrorists located in the North of Mannar and Mulllaittivu areas.

It said the first air sortie was conducted More...
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Tiger rebels say Sri Lanka jets kill 8 civilians
reuters.com, Fri Feb 22, 2008 5:22am ES. COLOMBO, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Tamil Tiger rebels said Sri Lankan government fighter jets killed eight civilians, including three young children, in an air raid on their northern stronghold on Friday.

Fighting between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has intensified since the government formally pulled out of a six-year-old ceasefire pact in January, though a renewed war has been raging since 2006. More... Discuss this story
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45 killed in Lankan ground clashes, air force bombs Kilinochchi
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Sri Lankan Navy opens fire on Indian fishermen
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Sri Lanka says kills 92 Tiger rebels in push north
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13 Tamil Tiger rebels, 5 soldiers killed in violence, Sri Lanka 's military says
Associated Press, Wed February 20, 2008 20:02 EST . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels fought battles in Sri Lanka - 's restive north and suspected rebels ambushed an army post in the south, killing 13 guerrillas and five soldiers, the military said... Back to the top

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