At least 21 Tamil rebels were killed in sporadic fighting in northern Sri Lanka as government troops continued military operations to recapture rebel-held areas, a military spokesman said on Friday.
Fighting was reported from the Welioya area, 280 km northeast of the capital, in Vavuniya, 240 km north of the capital, and in Mannar, 320 km north of the capital, on Thursday and Friday.
Government troops used rocket-propelled grenades and small arms to attack rebel targets in the areas as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels also carried out attacks on the forces.
The military spokesman said that no deaths were reported among soldiers, but at least 10 of them suffered injuries.
The incidents came as the government moved the majority of the police commandos deployed in the east to the front lines in the northern province in an apparent move to step up operations against the rebels.
The police commandos, known as the Special Task Force (STF), will be mainly deployed to protect villages vulnerable to rebel attacks.
Military commanders have declared that they want to recapture LTTE-held areas in the north before the end of the year.
Earlier, troops recaptured rebel-held areas in the north and local elections were held. Nominations have been called for provincial elections in the east for May.