Fighting continues in northern Sri Lanka

May 4th, 2008 - 9:22 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, May 4 (DPA) Heavy fighting continued in the northern part of Sri Lanka, claiming the lives of at least 23 rebels and eight soldiers as government troops took control of more rebel held areas, military officials said Sunday. Fighting was reported from the Welioya, Janakapura, Wanni and Mannar areas, over 250 km north of the capital Colombo, Saturday and Sunday.

In one of the confrontations in Welioya seven rebels were killed and 21 were injured while the army lost two soldiers and four more were injured, officials said.

Similar fighting was reported in the Janakapura area where four rebels and five soldiers were killed, officials added.

In the Mannar area troops stormed rebel controlled areas, killing 10 rebels and also finding the bodies of six rebels killed in a separate incident on the same day.

Government troops have been moving into rebel controlled areas in the north and took control of new areas over the weekend.

Fighting between rebels and soldiers this year has claimed over 3,300 rebel lives and over 400 soldiers and policemen.

The government has vowed to regain control of the rebel held areas before the end of the year while after similar operations the security forces recaptured rebel held areas in the north. A provincial election is being held in the north May 10, the first such in over 20 years.

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