Sri Lanka says kills 8 Tiger rebels in clashes

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Colombo, Oct 17: Sri Lankan soldiers killed eight Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes in the north and east of the island, the military said today as it pressed on with an offensive to push them further north.

Seven of the insurgents were killed yesterday in the northern military-held Jaffna peninsula, which is cut off from the rest of the country by rebel lines.

The body of another suspected rebel was found after a firefight in eastern Trincomalee district, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Sri Lanka's north has been the focus of renewed civil war after the military pushed out fighters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from their eastern strongholds earlier this year.

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

Around 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between the military and the LTTE guerrillas since early 2006.


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