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Sri Lankan military says 4 Tamil Tiger rebels killed in clashes with army

Sri Lankan military says 4 Tamil Tiger rebels killed in clashes with army

Government troops clashed twice with separatist Tamil Tigers in volatile northern Sri Lanka, killing at least four insurgents, the military said Thursday.
In the northern district of Vavuniya, army troops exchanged gunfire with a group of rebels on Thursday morning and later found the body of an insurgent, military spokesman Brig. Prasad Samarasinghe said.
Separately, soldiers repulsed a rebel attack late Wednesday in Welioya, also in the north, killing three insurgents, Samarasinghe said.
There were no government casualties in either clash, he said.
Also early Thursday, rebels traveling on two boats fired at a navy camp in northwestern Mannar, wounding one sailor, Samarasinghe said. Naval forces fired back, forcing the insurgents to retreat, he said.
There was no immediate comment from the rebels on the incidents.
Fighting between the Tigers and security forces has escalated in recent months.
Meanwhile, the government said on Thursday it has started the process for resettling tens of thousands of people displaced in eastern Sri Lanka amid heavy fighting between government troops and Tamil Tigers in the past few months.
Resettlement Minister Rishad Badiudeen said 64,250 ethnic minority Tamils have been displaced in eastern Batticaloa district, including 12,500 people who fled from Vaharai, an impoverished coastal strip seized by the military from rebel hands last week.
He said another 6,000 ethnic majority Sinhalese who fled their villages in neighboring Trincomalee district earlier to escape Tiger attacks started moving back Wednesday after the rebels were routed.
The rebels have been fighting since 1983 to establish an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's minority ethnic Tamils following decades of discrimination by the Sinhalese-dominated government.
A 2002 truce is still officially in effect, but has virtually collapsed since the resurgence of large-scale fighting last year.


Updated : 2021-07-26 05:19 GMT+08:00