Sri Lanka bombs rebel training base

Sri Lanka’s air force bombed a Tamil Tiger training base in the north and nine rebels and two soldiers were killed in ground battles, the military said on Monday.

The air raids in the district of Mullaitivu and clashes in the northern district of Vavuniya and the north-western district of Mannar were the latest engagements in intensified fighting between government forces and Tamil Tiger rebel fighters.

”We took a target this morning. It’s an LTTE [Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam] training base complex and the pilots have confirmed the target was successful,” said air force spokesperson Wing Commander Priyantha Weerasinghe, adding that there was no information on the casualties or damage.

The military also said ground battles on Sunday in Vavuniya and Mannar killed nine Tamil Tiger rebels and two soldiers. The LTTE, who are seeking to carve out an independent state in north and east Sri Lanka, were not immediately available for comment on the fighting.

More than 5 000 people have been killed in fighting between the military and Tigers since early 2006, taking the death toll since the war erupted in 1983 to about 70 000.

Military analysts say there is no clear winner on the horizon, and fear the war could grind on for years. — Reuters

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