Sri Lanka fighting kills another 43: ministry

June 29, 2008 (AFP) – At least 41 more Tamil Tiger rebels and two government soldiers have been killed in the latest fighting in Sri Lanka’s north, the defence ministry said Sunday. Troops shot dead 20 guerrillas in the district of Vavuniya on Saturday while 14 were killed in the neighbouring Weli Oya region, the ministry said.

Another seven Tigers were killed in the coastal district of Mannar.

The ministry said 33 members of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were also wounded in Saturday’s clashes with security forces.

Two soldiers were killed and seven more wounded in the fighting, the ministry said.

There was no immediate word from the Tigers on the latest violence.

The defence ministry claims raise the number of rebels reported killed by government troops since the beginning of the year to 4,586, against the loss of 418 soldiers.

Government figures cannot be independently verified as journalists are barred from visiting frontline areas.