TITLE=LANKA WAR (L-O)
INTRO: More than 70-Tamil Tiger rebels and soldiers
have been killed in fresh fighting in northern Sri
Lanka's. Vandana Chopra has the details from Colombo.
TEXT: Sri Lankan Defense Ministry officials say the
military moved ahead on two fronts and destroyed a
large number of rebel bunkers before it came under
attack from Tamil guerrillas.
The defense ministry statement says 18-soldiers were
killed and 150-wounded, 48 of them seriously, when
rebel guerrillas rained mortars on troops in the
Northern Wanni region.
Monitored rebel transmissions indicate 53 Tiger rebels
died when the army retaliated with artillery and
The fighting follows a so-called -- Two-Days of
Tranquility -- observed by both sides for a polio
immunization program in the war-torn areas.
The renewed fighting between the rebels and the
military is the fiercest in recent months.
The rebels have been fighting for a separate homeland
for the minority Tamil community in Sri Lanka's North
and East since 1983. The government says more than
50-thousand people have died in the ethnic war that
has strained the government and economy. (SIGNED)
12-Sep-1999 13:30 PM LOC (12-Sep-1999 1730 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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