Sri Lanka fighting kills another 29: defence ministry

July 2, 2008 (AFP) – Fresh fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tigers has left at least another 27 rebels and two soldiers dead, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Troops shot dead 27 rebels in the districts of Vavuniya, Mannar and Mullaitivu on Tuesday, the ministry said, adding that security forces lost two soldiers and a few more were wounded.

There was no immediate word from the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on the latest violence.

The defence ministry’s claim takes the number of rebels reported killed by government troops since the beginning of the year to 4,643, against the loss of 422 soldiers.

Government figures cannot be independently verified as journalists are barred from visiting frontline areas.