Sri Lankan jets launch fresh air strikes on Tigers | india | Hindustan Times
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Sri Lankan jets launch fresh air strikes on Tigers

india Updated: Jan 03, 2007 16:07 IST

Sri Lankan government jets conducted fresh raids against Tamil Tiger positions in the east of the island on Wednesday, defence officials said.

The latest air raids targeted a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) heavy arms depot near Verugal in eastern Batticaloa district, a spokesman for the National Security Media Center said.

The strike came a day after a raid in the north which the rebels said killed 15 civilians and wounded 25.

But a defence ministry statement denied civilians were targeted in the bombing.

Defence officials had said the target of Tuesday's raid, near Mannar in the north, was a Sea Tiger base.

"The target has been kept under observation for years" and intelligence had revealed that "terrorists were using the location as an unloading platform for the arms and drugs smuggled into the island," the defence ministry said.

The rebels are fighting for independence for the island's minority 2.5 million Tamil community.

The conflict has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.

An upsurge in violence between government troops and the rebels killed more than 3,500 people in 2006, despite a Norwegian-arranged truce in place since February 2002.