Sri Lanka clashes kill 29: military

June 20, 2008 (AFP) – At least 26 Tamil Tiger guerrillas and three government soldiers have been killed in clashes across Sri Lanka’s northern regions, the defence ministry said Friday. Confrontations in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu since Thursday killed 26 rebels, the ministry said, adding that 47 guerrillas were also believed to have been wounded.

The military’s own losses were placed at three dead and 17 wounded.

The latest clashes have raised to 4,335 the number of rebels reported killed by security forces since January, while 399 security personnel have died in combat in the same period, according to the defence ministry.

The figures cannot be independently verified due to restrictions on reporting. The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland for the Tamil minority since 1972. Tens of thousands of people have died in the conflict.