Colombo, Jan,29: Clashes between Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger fighters in the far north killed at least 28 rebels and two government soldiers, the military said on Tuesday.
The latest fighting flared in the island's northern districts killing 42 rebels and two government soldiers since Monday, the military said. "There had been confrontations in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannarand Welioya which killed 28 LTTE terrorists and two soldiers had died," said Military Spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara. Hostilities have heightened between Sri Lanka's government and Tamil Tiger rebels.
Recently Sri Lanka said its air force had bombed a base used by Tigers leader Velupillai Prabhakaran - but the rebels said the air raid targeted civilians.
Last week 16 bodies were found at a remote jungle location in government-controlled territory in Anuradhapura district. A military spokesman said the victims had been hacked to death, and blamed Tamil Tiger rebels.
And earlier this month, at least 26 people were killed and more than 60 hurt in a bomb attack in the town of Buttala, 240km (150 miles) south-east of the capital, Colombo.
The army blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the attacks, which came after the government formally ended a ceasefire.
Fighting had been going on in the north and east of the island for about two years, despite the truce. The Tigers control a swathe of territory in the north of the island and are fighting for an independent state.