Sri Lanka fighting kills 95: military

Feb 21, 2008 (AFP) – At least 92 Tamil Tiger rebels and three government soldiers died in intense battles for a bunker line in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Thursday. Government forces destroyed five bunkers held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during fighting on Wednesday afternoon, a ministry statement said.

“As per the military reports received from the northern battlefronts, at least 92 terrorists were killed and over 15 suffered injuries during yesterday’s confrontations,” the statement said.

“Also, three soldiers were killed in action while another 20 sustained injuries.”

The clashes came hours after suspected rebels struck in the deep south, away from the usual conflict zone, killing three soldiers guarding a highway in Buttala, 350 kilometres (220 miles) from the Tiger’s northern de facto state.

Meanwhile, the LTTE issued a statement accusing government forces of using artillery in civilian areas inside rebel-held territory, injuring children and farmers.

“Tamil civilians … are paying dearly for the constant shelling by the Sri Lanka military. Thousands of families have (been) displaced from their homes,” the guerrilla