COLOMBO, Sept 25, 2007 (AFP) – Sixteen people were killed and 39 others injured as security forces clashed with Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka’s embattled north and east, the two sides reported Tuesday. More than 60,000 people have died since the LTTE launched a military campaign for an independent state for minority Tamils in 1972. Four soldiers died in the northern district of Mannar early Tuesday when the rebels tried to breach a security line, the military said placing guerrilla losses at nine killed and 36 injured.
A road-side bomb killed a university lecturer and a civil servant in the northern district of Jaffna also on Tuesday, the defence ministry said blaming the attack on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
The ministry said the rebels had targeted soldiers on foot patrol. Three soldiers escaped with injuries while the two civilians died in the blast.
And a farmer was shot dead by unknown gunmen late Monday in the eastern town of Akkaraipattu, the pro-rebel Tamilnet.com website said.