Sri Lanka says military kills three rebels

July 7, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops have killed three suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in the island’s embattled north and east, the defence ministry said on Saturday. More than 60,000 people have been killed since the conflict erupted in 1972. Two Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in northern Vavuniya district on Friday during clashes with government troops, the military said.

Security forces also shot dead a rebel late Friday after observing some guerrilla movements across a defence line in the northeast region of Welioya, the ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from the LTTE which on Thursday marked the anniversary of their first suicide bombing staged 20 years ago.

The LTTE, fighting for an independent homeland for the tropical island’s minority ethnic Tamils, have bombed military and economic targets near the airport and in the north of the nation this year.