Sri Lanka jets raid Tiger sea base

Jan 11, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes carried out fresh raids Friday on rebel-held territory in the north, the defence ministry said, reporting 30 more guerrillas killed in ground fighting. Jets hit a naval base of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Alampil, the ministry said, adding that the facility was destroyed. There were no immediate details of casualties.

The ministry said 25 Tamil tigers were killed Friday morning in numerous ground clashes along the de facto border of the LTTE mini-state while five more rebels died on Thursday.

The latest tolls pushed rebel losses so far this month to 193, according to military figures. Only eight troopers have been reported killed in the same period.

Wildly differing casualty tolls reported by each side cannot be verified independently.

There was no immediate word from the Tigers about Friday’s air attacks which came a day after they called for a ceasefire and asked Norway to maintain peace efforts.

Fighting between the two sides has escalated since the government formally pulled out of a tattered 2002 ceasefire agreement last week. Tens of thousands of people have died in the ethnic conflict launched in 1972 b