12 guerrillas, a soldier killed in Sri Lanka

By Xinhua

Colombo : At least 12 guerrillas of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and a soldier were killed in separate shootings in northeastern Sri Lanka, the military said Wednesday.

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The military said that at least 10 LTTE rebels were killed in a battle between troops and a group of militants who tried to breach the government security lines at Eluthumaduwal in the northern district of Wanni Tuesday.

Two other LTTE rebels were killed and three soldiers were injured in a clash at Giants Tank in the northern district of Mannar Tuesday, the military said.

A Special Task Force (STF) personnel was killed by a group of LTTE rebels when an STF team was conducting a search at Pupaskulam in the eastern district of Ampara Tuesday, the military added.

Clashes between government troops and LTTE cadres are shifting to the north after the military claimed in mid-July that the whole eastern province of the war-torn country has been cleared of rebels.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of the Sinhala majority, the LTTE has been fighting the government since the mid-1980s to establish a separate homeland for the minority Tamils in the north and east.