At least 15 Tamil Tiger rebels and a government soldier have been killed in fresh clashes in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Thursday.
Troops shot dead 14 members of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) along the frontline with guerrilla-held territory at Vavuniya in the north of the island on Wednesday, the ministry said.
It said 24 Tigers were also wounded in the clashes. The ministry placed its own losses at one soldier killed and five wounded. There was no immediate word from the Tigers.
There is no independent verification of casualy figures claimed by both sides. The authorities do not allow journalists into the conflict areas.
Tens of thousands of people have died since the conflict began in 1972. Fighting has escalated since December 2005, when a Norwegian-brokered truce began to unravel.