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Military

1 soldier, 30 rebels killed in Sri Lanka

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Dec 15, IRNA
Sri Lanka-LTTE-Clashes
One soldier and 30 rebels have been killed in recent renewed clashes between the Tamil Tigers rebel and Sri Lankan force in the northern parts of the Island.

The clashes were the latest in a renewed civil war amid near-daily air raids, bombings and land and sea battles.

"Troops killed 30 LTTE terrorists in clashes in Vavuniya, Mannar and Jaffna on Friday," said reports received here quoting Sri Lankan military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara.

He said one soldier had been killed and seven wounded.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who are seeking to carve out an independent state in north and east Sri Lanka, were not immediately available for comment on the fighting.

There were no independent accounts of how many people were killed or what had happened and analysts say both sides tend to overstate enemy losses and play down their own.

The military has vowed to wipe out the Tigers militarily, and is seeking to drive the rebels out of Mannar after evicting them earlier this year from vast swathes of jungle terrain they controlled in the east.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between troops and Tigers since early 2006 alone, taking the death toll since the war erupted in 1983 to around 70,000.

Military analysts say there is no clear winner on the horizon, and fear the war could grind on for years.

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