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Sri Lankan Troops Kill 30 Tamil Rebels, Military Jets Bomb Rebel Camps

The Sri Lankan military says army troops have killed 30 Tamil Tiger rebels in battles in northern regions of the country.

Military officials say two soldiers were killed and another 10 were wounded in the battles in Mannar and Vavuniya districts early Thursday.

Also, the military says fighter jets bombed and heavily damaged rebel training camps in northern Mullaithivu district.

There has been no immediate comment from the rebels about the latest government claims.

On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan government withdrew regulations to censor war reporting, hours after President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced the measures in response to concerns of inaccurate media reports.

Last week, the government suspended radio stations owned by the local ABC Network, after officials accused the stations of airing false reports of a Tamil Tiger attack.

Fighting between the government and rebels has surged over the past year despite a 2002 cease-fire. Rebels have been driven out of the east but remain entrenched in the northern part of the country.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebel group has been fighting since 1983 to create a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's minority Tamils, complaining of widespread discrimination by majority Sinhalese-controlled governments.

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