Sri Lanka says soldiers kill 7 Tamil Tiger rebels

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Colombo, Sep 12: Sri Lankan soldiers killed seven Tamil Tiger rebels in two clashes in the north of the island, the military said today.

The fighting, in the northern district of Jaffna, was the latest in a series of land and sea battles, ambushes and air raids between the armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, who are fighting for an independent state.

The violence followed a new offensive launched by the Sri Lankan military this month to drive the rebels from the northwest Mannar area, after pushing them out from jungles in the east.

''The military attacked and killed four terrorists who tried to infiltrate through Forward Defence Line in Jaffna yesterday and also killed another three who tried to enter an army camp in the same area,'' said a spokesman at Media Centre for National Security.

Government forces suffered no casualties, the spokesman said.

The Tigers, who say they are fighting for an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils in the north and east, were not immediately available for comment.

An estimated 5,000 people have died since last year in renewed fighting after a peace process collapsed.

In the civil war that erupted in 1983 about 70,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced.

Reuters>

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