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Bloodshed continues in Sri Lanka

Bloodshed continues in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan forces clashed repeatedly with Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's north, and the military said yesterday that 13 insurgents were killed in the two days of battles.
The fiercest fighting took place along the frontier between government and rebel territory in the Mannar district in the northwest, which has emerged in recent weeks as a flash point of Sri Lanka's escalating conflict.
The intensifying clashes in and around Mannar - along with of a series of rebel air raids - have raised widespread concern that Sri Lanka's conflict is entering an even more dangerous phase as the government amps up its pressure on insurgent strongholds in the country's north.
Military spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said that soldiers had confirmed killing at least 10 rebels in the two days of fighting around Mannar. He said the military suffered no causalities.
In a separate battle Tuesday, Samarasinghe said insurgents in the northeastern district of Welioya attacked a group of soldiers, who repulsed the assault and killed three rebels.
The Tigers, who regularly dispute government death tolls, were not immediately available for comment.
The clashes in Mannar follow fighting last week in the same area that the government says killed 21 rebels and two soldiers.
The Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.1 million Hindu Tamils, a largely Hindu minority concentrated in eastern and northern Sri Lanka.
The Tamils have faced decades of discrimination from the predominantly Buddhist Sinhalese, who make up a majority of the Indian Ocean island nation's 19 million people.
At least 65,000 people were killed before a cease-fire was signed in 2002.


Updated : 2021-05-15 01:11 GMT+08:00