Sri Lanka fighting kills 27 Tamil Tigers: defence ministry

March 29, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan security forces killed at least 27 Tamil Tiger rebels during fighting across the island’s embattled northern district, the defence ministry said Saturday. . Ground troops advanced further into Mannar on Saturday killing 10 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and smashing two rebel bunkers, the statement said.

The military said they destroyed rebel bunkers and killed 17 guerrillas in artillery exchanges on Friday and placed its own losses at seven soldiers injured.

“Heavy fighting broke out since Thursday as the torrential rains eased away improving ground conditions for army fighting units to mobilise deeper into LTTE defences,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka air force fighter jets on Friday made low diving sorties destroying a suspected rebel ammunition dump in guerrilla-held northern territory, the ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from the LTTE, but a pro-rebel website said a soldier died on Friday after accidentally touching a live electric fence along the northern defence line. The military did not comment.

Security forces have killed at least 2,418 rebels since the beginning of January, while only 147 governmen