The Tamil tigers today claimed to have killed 50 army personnel in south Mullaitivu, even as Sri Lankan defence forces intensified their offensive against rebel strongholds in the embattled north.
The pro-LTTE TamilNet website said 50 government troops were killed in northern Sri Lanka during fighting in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu yesterday, while the defence ministry said only nine soldiers lost their lives in the operation.
"The rebels also found 16 bodies of soldiers and 15 rifles," the website said citing unidentified rebel officials.
The military dismissed the LTTE claim, with spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara, saying only nine soldiers were killed in the area.
Both sides have routinely exaggerated enemy casualties, while downplaying their own during the 25-year old conflict.
Meanwhile, at least nine LTTE cadres, including four sea tigers, were killed as Sri Lankan defence forces intensified their offensive against rebel strongholds, while eight people died when a Tamil tiger blew himself up near the capital today.