Skip to main content /WORLD /WORLD

Sri Lanka hits back after rebel attacks

Government troops and Tamil Tigers have been in an on-going battle.
Government troops and Tamil Tigers have been in an on-going battle.  

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Sri Lankan troops have killed at least six Tamil Tiger guerrillas in a brief offensive in the country's north after a week of rebel attacks left more than 40 dead, Reuters reports military officials as saying.

Troops conducted a "limited clearing operation" against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the Jaffna peninsula's Muhamalai and Kilali areas, military spokesman Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne said.

"We have confirmed reports of six LTTE dead and nine injured," he told Reuters.

He said 12 soldiers were wounded in the offensive which began before dawn and ended after a few hours.

Sri Lanka: A nation divided  
Sri Lanka timeline  

The air force has bombed rebel positions almost every day in the last month but this was the government's first ground attack in response to a string of rebel strikes in the country's east.

The guerrillas, fighting for a separate Tamil state in the country's north and east, attacked two army camps in the eastern Welioya region on Thursday.

The death toll from that battle has now risen to 22 after the bodies of seven soldiers, among nine listed as missing, were handed over to the Red Cross.

On Wednesday, the guerrillas blew up a civilian bus in eastern Sri Lanka, wounding 15 passengers, and the previous day they stormed a police station in the eastern Ampara district, sparking a fierce battle in which 23 people died.

The LTTE has stepped up attacks after a devastating suicide strike on the country's only international airport on July 24.

The airport attack, marking the 18th anniversary of a conflict which has claimed an estimated 64,000 lives, appeared to signal the collapse of a Norwegian-brokered peace process.

See related sites about World
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top