Sri Lankan military says planes bomb rebel position; 23 killed in ground fighting
Tue July 8, 2008 08:47 EDT .
BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan fighter planes bombed a Tamil Tiger base Tuesday and the rebels ambushed an army patrol killing two soldiers in the country's war-ravaged north, the military said.
The attacks came a day after ground battles along the front lines of the civil war killed 19 rebels and two soldiers, according to the military.
The air force jets twice hit a logistics facility in the rebel-controlled Kilinochchi district Tuesday, the defense ministry said in a statement. The pilots confirmed the attacks were successful, but did not give casualty or damage details, the military said.
Hours later guerrillas ambushed soldiers on foot patrol, killing two of them in Vavuniya district bordering the rebel-held region in the north, the statement said.
In ground fighting Monday, troops killed 11 rebels in Vavuniya while in Jaffna a confrontation killed one soldier and wounded six others, the military said Tuesday.
Separate battles in Welioya killed seven guerrillas and one soldier, while in Mannar one rebel was killed, the military said.
Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.
It was not possible to independently verify the military reports because journalists are banned from the northern jungles where much of the fighting takes place. Each side commonly exaggerates its enemy's casualties while underreporting their own.
The rebels have been fighting since 1983 to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils, who have been marginalized by successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.Discuss this story
Published: Tue Jul 8 11:45:28 EDT 2008