Sri Lanka 's military says 30 killed in latest fighting
Fri March 21, 2008 03:07 EDT .
KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops ambushed ethnic Tamil rebels with a roadside bomb, overran bunkers and engaged in firefights across the island's restive north, killing 29 insurgents, the military said Friday.
Meanwhile, a soldier was killed by rebel mortar fire Thursday in Welioya, the military said in a statement.
Soldiers set off a roadside bomb that killed five rebels traveling on a tractor trailer Thursday in a rebel-controlled part of Vavuniya district, the military said.
Also Thursday, soldiers pushed into rebel strongholds and destroyed three bunkers, the military said. Separate firefights were reported in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar and Welioya districts, the statement said. Altogether 24 rebels were killed in those clashes, it said.
Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.
Each side often exaggerates the other's casualty figures while playing down its own. It was not possible to independently confirm the accounts because reporters have been barred from the war zone.
Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create a separate homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who suffered decades of marginalization by governments controlled by majority Sinhalese.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Fri Mar 21 03:33:04 EDT 2008