At least 54 combatants were killed in heavy clashes between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the volatile east, the military said on Saturday.
"We have recovered 12 Tamil Tiger bodies while soldiers had observed 40 others in front of our defence line," said military spokesman Brig Prasad Samarasinghe.
Two soldiers were also killed. Samarasinghe said Tamil Tigers launched an attack on a military camp in Mankerni in Batticaloa district early Friday. The army, supported by fighter helicopters, repulsed the rebel attack, but exchange of artillery and mortar fire continued throughout the day.