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Sri Lanka: 19 Tamil Tiger Rebels Killed in Recent Fighting

Sri Lanka's military says government forces killed at least 19 Tamil Tiger rebels and wounded more than 27 during fighting Saturday in the country's north.

Defense officials said Sunday the fighting broke out in the Vavuniya, Mannar, Jaffna and Welioya areas.

They said at least two soldiers were injured in the clashes.

There was no immediate comment from the Tamil Tiger rebels, and the government figures could not be verified independently because of restrictions on journalists in the area.

In other news Sunday, a pro-rebel website (TamilNet) has released pictures of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran commemorating the 21st anniversary of the first suicide attack by his group.

The website says more than 350 Tamil suicide bombers, known as Black Tigers, have killed themselves in attacks against the Sri Lankan military since 1987.

Tamil rebels are fighting for an independent homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east. More than 70,000 people died in the violence that began in 1983.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.