Sri Lanka says four Tigers killed amid artillery duels

Nov 14, 2006 (AFP) – At least four Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a fire fight in eastern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Tuesday as sporadic artillery duels raged elsewhere. A security force patrol confronted a group of Tiger rebels at a village in the district of Batticaloa on Monday and the four rebels were killed in an exchange of fire, the ministry said in a statement.

“The security forces suffered no casualties during the incident,” the ministry added.

It said the guerrillas had also fired artillery towards military positions along a de facto front line in the northern peninsula of Jaffna overnight and the security forces retaliated in kind.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

The two sides have been trading long-range fire in northern and eastern regions in recent weeks, despite a truce in place since February 2002.

Sri Lanka is facing international condemnation for the killing of up to 65 Tamil civilians while retaliating against Tiger artillery attacks in the east last week. The military accuses the Tigers of using human shields.