Sri Lanka clashes kill 38

Oct 16, 2007 (AFP) – At least 38 Tamil Tiger rebel fighters and government soldiers have been killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Tuesday. The guerrillas killed seven soldiers in an attack inside the Yala National Park, Sri Lanka’s main wildlife sanctuary in the southeast, a military official said.

Six of the soldiers died in an overnight attack on an army outpost and the seventh trooper was killed and three more wounded in a mine attack as additional troops were poured into the area, officials said.

“A search operation is now under way. Reinforcements have been deployed,” an official in the area said by telephone.

The defence ministry meanwhile said at least 30 rebels were killed and many more wounded in several exchanges of fire in the north of the island where a frontline separates government territory and the Tamil Tigers’ mini-state.

“Sri Lanka army soldiers launched several pre-emptive strikes immediately ahead of their forward defences in Wanni and in Jaffna killing over 30 terrorists,” the ministry said in a statement.

It said one government soldier was also killed and seven were wounded following the clashe