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Sri Lanka: 28 Troops Killed in Recent Battles with Tamil Rebels


Sri Lankan military officials say 28 troops have been killed and 119 wounded in several days of renewed fighting with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern part of the Indian Ocean island nation.

Military spokesman General Prasad Samarasinghe said Sunday the military is responding to recent rebel artillery attacks against Sri Lankan troops on the Jaffna peninsula.

The Tamil Tigers say six rebels have been killed and 13 wounded. But a French news agency report quotes Sri Lankan military officials as saying the rebels lost 150 fighters and "many more" are wounded.

Saturday, the military conducted airstrikes on rebel positions in the region.

Diplomats say a 2002 ceasefire agreement between the government and the Tamil Tiger rebels appears to be near total collapse.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka since the early 1980s. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the violence.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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