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Heavy Fighting in Sri Lanka Kills 3 Soldiers, 8 Tamil Rebels

Sri Lankan military officials say troops and Tamil rebels have clashed in the country's volatile east, killing at least three soldiers and eight Tamil rebels.

A military spokesman says the rebels launched a pre-dawn attack Wednesday on military camps in Batticaloa district. He says at least 12 soldiers were wounded in the battle.

The eastern district of Batticaloa has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent days.

The United Nations World Food Program estimates that about 155,000 civilians have been displaced in that area. It says without new funding, food intended for tens of thousands of Sri Lankans displaced by the fighting is expected to run out by the end of April.

Since 2005, at least 4,000 people have been killed in a new wave of fighting between government troops and rebels battling for an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP