Sri Lanka kills 16 LTTE rebels in fighting

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Colombo, Nov 22: Sri Lankan troops killed 16 Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes in the north of the island, the military said today.

The fighting on the Jaffna peninsula in the far north, in north-western Mannar and the eastern district of Trincomalee, is the latest between government forces and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militants.

''Troops were confronted with terrorists in four different incidents and killed 16 terrorists,'' said a spokesman at the Media Centre for National Security. One soldier was wounded.

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 the rebels out of Mannar after evicting them earlier this year from jungles they controlled in the east.

About 5,000 people have been killed in fighting between the military and LTTE fighters since early 2006. Nearly 70,000 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced since the war erupted in 1983.


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