Sri Lanka keeps up air strikes on rebel territory

Feb 15, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan war planes carried out bombing raids Friday inside territory held by Tamil Tiger guerrillas, the defence ministry said. A training camp of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was targeted in Friday’s attack, which followed a similar raid on Thursday, the ministry said.

The air attacks are part of an escalation of fighting between troops and rebels in the north of the island.

According to the defence ministry, security forces have killed 1,248 rebels this year while the government has lost 70 soldiers and police.

Casualty figures provided by the government and the LTTE cannot be independently verified as journalists and human rights workers are barred from frontline and rebel-held areas.

The Sri Lankan government last month officially pulled out of an already moribund truce with the rebels, who have fought for more than three decades for an independent ethnic homeland in the Sinhalese-majority island. .