Fresh violence in Sri Lanka kills 13, air attacks

March 30, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions Friday after the rebels blew up five soldiers and allegedly killed eight civilians in shelling, officials said.

Supersonic jets bombed rebel-held territory after the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) set off a road side bomb and ambushed a military vehicle, killing five soldiers and wounding another, the military said.

“We have hit three LTTE targets today,” a spokesman for the Sri Lankan airforce said. He said there were no details on casualties.

The military also reported eight civilians were killed in shelling in the east of the island, where the two sides have been locked in long-range attacks.

The defence ministry said the civilians were killed as a result of firing by Tamil Tiger rebels into populated areas of Batticaloa district. There was no immediate comment from the Tigers.

There has been heavy fighting between the two sides in the coastal Batticaloa region, where the military captured a Tiger base on Wednesday. The Tiger rebels are leading a drawn out campaign for independence. More than 4,000 people have been killed in the latest wave of fighting since December 2005 despit