May 15, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops smashed rebel bunkers and traded fire with guerrillas across the island’s north, leaving at least 25 people dead in total, the defence ministry said Thursday. The ministry said security forces carried out “limited operations” in the regions of Mannar, Weli Oya, Vavuniya and Janakapura on Wednesday, as troops tried to advance further into rebel territories in the north.
Elsewhere, unidentified gunmen shot dead two civilians in the eastern seaport district of Trincomalee on Wednesday, the military said.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) did not comment on the ministry’s latest casualty claims.
Since January, government troops claim to have killed 3,663 rebels while 274 security forces personnel died in combat during the same period.
Colombo has poured a record 1.5 billion dollars into the war effort this year, hoping for a quick end to a conflict that has left tens of thousands dead since 1972. .