Sri Lankan war planes on Tuesday pounded Tamil Tiger positions in the island's northeast after suspected rebels ambushed an army bus killing 19 soldiers, officials said.
Israeli-built Kfir jets carried out bombing sorties near the Maavilaru irrigation canal which the rebels blocked 10 days ago sparking bitter fighting that, according to the military, has left 35 Tigers and nine soldiers dead.
There were no immediate reports of casualties in the latest air attacks which came just hours after the rebels were held responsible for blowing up a bus transporting reinforcements to the Maavilaru area.
The bus bombing caused the biggest single loss for the security forces in a road side bombing since they entered into a truce with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in February 2002.
Despite the escalation of violence, the Nordic truce monitoring mission said both sides had vowed to uphold the ceasefire while blaming each other for stoking violence.