Central & South Asia
Sri Lankan troops clash with Tigers
Military says 15 Tamil Tiger fighters and six soldiers died in latest offensive.
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2007 13:54 GMT
Sri Lankan forces say they have forced out Tamil Tigers from the eastern jungles in the past [EPA]

Sri Lankan forces have killed at least 15 Tamil Tiger separatists in clashes that also left six soldiers dead in the north and eastern parts of the island, the military said.

Saturday's violence came after government forces launched a new offensive to drive out members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the Mannar area.
Sri Lankan forces said that the Tamil Tiger fighters were killed in the last 24 hours in the northern districts of Jaffna and Vavuniya, as well as the eastern district of Ampara.

The military said it had previously forced the group out of jungle areas in the eastern part of the country.

A large stock of arms and ammunitions were also uncovered during the offensive, the military said.

"A claymore mine exploded by the LTTE, targeting a military bus, killed two soldiers and wounded seven in Jaffna," a spokesman at the Media Centre for National Security, part of the ministry of defence, said on Saturday.


"Soldiers killed 14 terrorists in three different incidents in Vavuniya. Three soldiers were killed in the fighting," he said.


The military also said that an elite commando police officer, wounded in fighting in Ampara, had died later in hospital.


The Tamil Tigers, who want an independent state for the Tamil minority in the north and the east of the country, were not immediately available for comment.


An estimated 5,000 people have died since last year in renewed fighting after a peace process collapsed.


About 70,000 people have been killed, including thousands of civilians, since the civil war erupted in 1983.

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