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Military kills 24 rebels in north SL

The Sri Lankan troops kill LTTE rebels in clashes, days after dozens of people died in rebels bombings of a bus and a shopping centre.

world Updated: Dec 08, 2007 14:45 IST

Sri Lankan troops killed 24 Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes in the north of the island, the military said on Saturday, days after dozens of people died in rebels bombings of a bus and a shopping centre.

The latest clashes took place in the northwest district of Mannar, where the military launched an offensive earlier this year to evict the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, and the Jaffna peninsula in the north.

One soldier was killed in another clash in Vavuniya, a spokesman at the Media centre for National Security said.

The Tigers, who are seeking to carve out an independent state in north and east Sri Lanka, were not immediately available for comment.

Analysts say both sides tend to overstate enemy losses and play down their own.

A roadside bomb, suspected to have been planted by the rebels, killed 17 people in a bus in a central province on Wednesday, a week after a parcel bomb killed 19 people in shopping centre in a Colombo suburb.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka since the war erupted in 1983.