Sri Lanka says 152 Tiger rebels killed in clashes

Aug 5, 2006 (AFP) – At least 152 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in northeastern Sri Lanka as security forces established full control over a Muslim coastal town, the defence ministry said Saturday. Troops using artillery and air attacks inflicted the losses on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on Friday afternoon in and around the town of Muttur in Trincomalee district, a ministry spokesman said.

“We have an estimated 152 Tigers killed and 124 injured, mainly in the air attacks carried at their key base of Foul Point,” spokesman Upali Rajapakse said. “We suffered only a few sailors wounded in Friday’s attacks.”

The defence ministry said the attack was the last confrontation with the guerrillas in the clashes which erupted Wednesday with a heavy artillery attack on the Muslim town by Tiger rebels.

“Naval troops who were vigilant and expecting the failing attempt of Tamil Tigers managed to identify the wave of assault from all corners, annihilated all of them,” the ministry said in a statemnent.

There was no immediate LTTE reaction to the military claims of casualties, but the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website reported the airforce bombed and destroyed a ferry inside rebel terri