Jan 15, 2007 (AFP) – Government forces killed at least five Tamil Tiger rebels during long-range artillery exchanges in Sri Lanka where six civilians were also shot dead, military officials said Monday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam targeted army positions in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Sunday and troops retaliated killing three guerrillas, a military official said.
He said another two Tiger rebels died during clashes in the same region later in the day.
The fighting came a day after the Tigers killed five Sri Lankan soldiers in the same district.
Six civilians were also found shot dead at five locations elsewhere in the island during the weekend, police said.
More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist conflict during the past 35 years. More than 3,800 people have been killed in the past year, despite a now moribund truce agreed in February 2002.