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28 killed in clashes, 23 coffins pulled out

world Updated: Dec 29, 2007 20:01 IST

Fierce gun battles in the restive northern Sri Lanka have left 25 tiger rebels, two soldiers and a Home Guard dead as troops recovered several coffins from an underground store belonging to LTTE.

"Troops on Saturday forced and held into the LTTE defences at Parappakandal in North-Western Mannar," the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

Altogether 20 LTTE, including their two senior leaders, were killed in the incident. The ground sources identified them as 'Adavan master' and Susilan, the MCNS said.

The latest ground reports confirmed several LTTE leaders were among the tiger casualties. Troops launched decisive long-range heavy gunfire before consolidating its positions, military sources.

At Vilattiklam in Northern Vavuniya one soldier was killed in clashes.

As many as two LTTE cadres were gunned down in Muhamale in Northern Jaffna in a pre-dawn retaliatory attack by army, the defence ministry said.

Meanwhile, troops found 23 coffins stored underground by the LTTE during a search in the general area of Inkiriyamadu in Eastern Batticaloa on Friday, it said.

Another attack launched by the Army troops killed one Tiger cadre in the general area ahead of Nagarkovil Forward Defence Line in Jaffna on Friday.

One soldier was killed in a confrontation at Narikkulam in Vavuniya. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Army found bodies of two LTTE cadres after a clash in Welioya in North Eastern Sri Lanka, it said adding one Home Guard succumbed to injuries in the clash.

They also recovered some arms and ammunitions from Eastern Trincomalee, it said.