Over 50 rebels killed in latest attack in Sri Lanka

December 22nd, 2008 - 9:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 22 (Xinhua) At least 56 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed and 87 others injured Monday in a fierce battle with government troops in the country’s north, defence officials said. Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the troops had gained a further two-kilometer stretch of the rebel defence bund that was created to stop the advancing Sri Lankan troops into Kilinochchi.

At least 10 government soldiers were killed and 47 others injured in the operation, Nanayakkara said. The Task Force 1 and the Army’s 57 division are taking part in the operation, he added.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Air Force said that four large boats of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were destroyed in an air raid in Mullaithivu district Monday.

Officials said around 60 civilians, who were held by the LTTE in the Nedunkerni area, have also been freed Monday. The government said the rebels have held the civilians hostage.

Earlier in the day, President Mahinda Rajapakse warned that the rebels could face a ban if they do not release all the civilians in their captivity by Jan 1.

Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu districts are considered to be the last strongholds of the LTTE. The rebels have been fighting the government troops to set up a separate Tamil homeland in the northern and eastern parts of the island country.

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