Eleven killed in fighting across Sri Lanka’s embattled regions

July 21, 2007 (AFP) – Eleven people were killed and three wounded in battles between security forces and Tamil Tiger rebels across Sri Lanka’s north and eastern regions, the defence ministry said on Saturday. Suspected rebels clashed with police commandos in the eastern town of Ampara Saturday, with troops killing six rebels, the ministry said, adding there were no casualties among security forces.

Two foot patrol soldiers were wounded when rebels set off a Claymore mine in the northern district of Vavuniya on Saturday, the ministry said.

In the same area, an airforce camp came under rebel attack early Saturday, wounding an airman, police said.

The military claimed they also killed five Tamil Tiger rebels, when they clashed in the northern district of Jaffna late on Friday.

There was no immediate comment from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who have been fighting for an independent homeland for minority Tamils in a bitter ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972. The fresh clashes come two days after the government celebrated the capture of the last bastion of the LTTE in the east of the island with a victory parade.