Sri Lanka : air force destroys rebel boats
Wed August 6, 2008 08:21 EDT .
- - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan forces attacked a Tamil Tiger rebel defense line at seven locations Wednesday in the island's north, killing five insurgents hours before air force jets bombed a rebel sea base destroying two boats, the military said.
Twenty-five guerrillas were also wounded in the pre-dawn attack on the defense line in Muhamalai village of northern Jaffna peninsula, the military said in a statement.
Later, the air force bombed a Sea Tiger base in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu district, the statement said.
Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment and it was not possible to verify the military's claims because reporters are barred from the war zone.
Both sides often exaggerate casualties inflicted upon the enemy while underreporting their own losses.
On Tuesday, 26 rebels and two soldiers died in fighting in northern Mullaitivu district. Two rebels and a soldier were also killed in Vavuniya district, the military statement said.
On the same day, the rebels set off a roadside bomb targeting soldiers on a tractor in eastern Batticaloa district, killing one soldier and wounding three others, the statement said.
The rebels have been fighting for an independent state in the north and east since 1983, following decades of marginalization of ethnic Tamils by governments dominated by the Sinhalese majority. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Published: Wed Aug 6 09:54:14 EDT 2008