Colombo, Nov 15: Sri Lankan troops killed 15 Tamil Tiger rebels and a soldier was killed in clashes in the north of the island, the military said today.
The spokesman said 14 rebels and a soldier were killed in four separate attacks in Vavuiniya yesterday. Another Tamil Tiger fighter was killed by troops in Muhamalai in Jaffna Peninsula.
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.
The military has launched an offensive to drive out the rebels from Mannar after evicting them earlier this year from jungle terrain they controlled in the east.
Around 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between the military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters since early 2006. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced since the war erupted in 1983.