At least 20 Tamil Tiger rebels and three soldiers have been killed in a series of clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north, officials said on Sunday.
Troops manning forward defence lines at Mullikulam, 270 kms north of Colombo, confronted a group of LTTE rebels on Saturday killing three of them while the rest fled, security sources said.
The security forces also repulsed another rebel attempt to breach the defence lines at Palamoddai, north west of Vavuniya on Saturday evening, killing three guerrillas and inflicting heavy damage on the LTTE. Ground sources confirmed that an LTTE bunker was destroyed in the retaliatory attacks by the troops.
Continuing their pre-emptive strikes near the Wanni Forward Defence Lines in the north of Uyilankulam, troops destroyed three LTTE bunkers, killing four rebels and seriously injuring 10 others on Saturday.
In a separate incident, ground forces, in retaliation to an LTTE offensive, at Parappakandal in north-western Mannar killed four guerrillas.
They also damaged two LTTE heavy guns, thereby dismantling the rebels' attempts to regroup, said military sources.
"Separately, in a location North West of Giant's Tank in Mannar, troops confronted an LTTE group killing six of them," security sources said.