Archive for June 17th, 2008

Security forces shot dead at least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka shortly after the guerrillas staged a suicide bombing against police, the defence ministry said Tuesday.

Troops in Mannar district attacked three bunkers of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Monday, killing at least 11 and wounding two more, said the ministry, which put its losses at two soldiers.

The ministry said another government soldier was wounded in the clashes, which came shortly after a Tiger suicide bomber hit a police complex in neighbouring Vavuniya district and killed 12 police.

The blast occurred during the morning rush hour in front of a police building in the tightly-guarded town of Vavuniya, 258 kilometres (160 miles) north of the capital Colombo.

The latest deaths raise the number of rebels killed by security forces since January to 4,280, according to the defence ministry, which says 388 security personnel and police have died in combat over the same period.

The government insists it has the upper hand in the decades-long conflict with the Tigers, and has poured a record 1.5 billion dollars into the war effort this year.

The Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority since 1972. Tens of thousands have died in the conflict.

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