Sri Lanka navy held Delft islet in Jaffna attacked by Tamil Tigers

May 24, 2007 (AFP) – Heavy clashes erupted Thursday between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels on a remote islet off Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsula, military sources said. Government troops and Tamil rebels have been locked in combat following the breakdown of a 2002 Norwegian-arranged truce. Nearly 5,000 people have died in the last 18 months.

Tiger guerrillas launched a pre-dawn attack on naval troops on Delft islet off the western coast of the peninsula, the sources said, adding that there were no immediate details about casualties.

The latest clash came after the International Red Cross said Wednesday it had pulled its staff away from frontlines dividing government and rebel forces amid an escalation in the fighting across the island nation.