At least 85 killed, hundreds injured in Sri Lanka battle

Oct 11, 2006 (AFP) – At least 75 Sri Lankan troops and 10 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed Wednesday and more than 400 soldiers wounded in a major battle in the island’s north, according to the warring parties. The military maintained that they were “compelled” to launch the offensive as a “defensive measure” to neutralise a build-up of rebel forces along military defence lines in the peninsula. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) offered stiff resistance and stalled a military push into rebel-held territory on the Jaffna peninsula, military sources said.

“More than 110 of the wounded have already been air-lifted to Colombo,” a top military source told AFP. “The army has lost at least 38 soldiers and six officers killed and over 400 have been wounded.”

Several others were unaccounted for, but the exact numbers were not immediately known.

However, the LTTE in a statement said they had captured the bodies of 75 soldiers, while they themselves lost 10 of their fighters killed.

“The LTTE recovered more than 75 bodies of Sri Lankan soldiers,” the Tigers said in a statement. “Efforts are now underway to hand over the bodies to the Sri Lankan military through the International Committee of the R