25 killed in Sri Lanka fighting

October 11th, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Oct 11 (Xinhua) At least 20 Tamil tiger rebels and five soldiers were killed Friday in clashes in northern Sri Lanka, military officials said Saturday. Defence ministry officials said the clashes between Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government troops occurred in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitihvu and Jaffna districts Friday.

A senior leader of the LTTE’s naval wing was among the dead, while around 43 rebels were also injured in the fighting, officials said.

The LTTE, however, is yet to confirm its casualty figure.

The troops said they were well on the way to capture Kilinochchi, the LTTE’s administrative headquarters in the northern part of the country.

Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts are considered the last strongholds of the LTTE.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of Sinhalese-dominated governments, the LTTE has been fighting for more than two decades to carve out an independent homeland for Tamil minorities in the northern part of the island country.

More than 70,000 people have died so far in the conflict.

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