Lanka: 10 combatants killed in Wanni artillery

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Colombo, Oct 21: At least eight Tamil Tiger rebels and two government soldiers were killed and over fifty combatants wounded when both sides locked in heavy artillery duels ahead of their respective Forward Defence Lines (FDL) in northern Wanni region last evening, Defence sources here said.

The Defence Ministry said at least eight Tigers were killed and 20 others injured when army engaged heavy artillery fire on LTTE positions at two occasions in Thampanai and Periyathampanai areas last evening.

''Also, one army soldier was killed and seven others suffered injuries in the same incidents,'' the Defence Ministry said, adding that the troops manning the FDLs in the general area Periyathampanai, located on the borders of the Vavuniya-Mannar districts, have encountered heavy LTTE artillery fire last evening.

The sources also claimed that one more soldier was killed and seven others wounded in these sporadic clashes and were currently undergoing treatment at the Vavuniya General Hospital.

''The intercepted radio conversations among LTTE cadres have revealed that 20 cadres suffered injuries when army artillery shells had fallen close to a tractor carrying LTTE cadres,'' the Defence Ministry claimed.

As usual, there were immediate reactions from the LTTE regarding these claims.

Although the government and the LTTE have claimed that they were committed to the five-year long Norwegian-brokered Ceasefire Agreement, both parties are engaged in an undeclared war over the past one year.

Fresh violence has left over 5000 people killed and several thousands displaced since December last year.


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