Army-LTTE clashes leave 32 dead in Sri Lanka

August 12th, 2008 - 4:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 12 (IANS) Fresh clashes between advancing Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger guerrillas have left at least 26 rebels and six soldiers dead and 47 wounded on both sides, military reports said Tuesday. The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said that the troops monitoring a flotilla of five-six boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Adampankulam area in the rebel-held northern Kilinochchi district had directed artillery attacks towards them Monday evening.

“One LTTE boat was destroyed and three LTTE terrorists were killed in this attack. One army soldier sacrificed his life in the incident,” it said.

The MCNS added that six LTTE guerrillas and two government soldiers were killed while 15 were wounded in two separate incidents in the same region Monday.

The troops killed at least 10 rebels in the northern district of Vavuniya and another seven guerrillas in the north-eastern Weli-Oya region.

It said three soldiers were killed while six soldiers and 18 rebels were wounded in the Weli-Oya region.

There was no immediate word from the LTTE regarding the military claims.

According to officials, the Sri Lankan military has opened several fronts in the north and are engaging the rebels in many jungle pockets, aiming to drive the Tamil Tigers from their last strongholds in the Wanni region, comprising Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts.

The LTTE, which has lost control of its former strongholds in the eastern province, are offering stiff resistance against the advancing troops, which are backed by artillery, mortars and the air force.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in the ethnic conflict since December 2006.

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