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Nineteen killed in Sri Lanka violence

world Updated: May 13, 2008 20:09 IST

At least 17 Tamil Tigers, a police officer and a civilian were killed in fresh violence in the restive northern Sri Lanka, officials said in Colombo on Tuesday.

Five LTTE cadres were killed in Periyamadu in Vavuniya district during intense clashes with the security forces Monday, the government's Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said. On the same day, troops gunned down five Tiger rebels in Periyamadu in the region, it said.

Three LTTE guerrillas were killed in Sirinagakulam in Vavuniya, the Defence Ministry said adding, another rebel was shot dead in Udawadi area on Monday.

One LTTE cadre was gunned down by security forces in north-western Mannar and two rebels were killed in Janakpura and Kiriebbanwewa areas in north-eastern Welioya, it said.

Suspected LTTE 'pistol gang' members opened fire on two police officers in Arasadi junction in eastern Batticaloa on Monday,killing one of them, the MCNS said.

Suspected LTTE gunmen also killed a Tamil businessman, owner of a communication centre in Jaffna last evening, the Defence Ministry said.

The LTTE has been fighting since 1983 for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in Sri Lanka. About 70,000 people were killed in the conflict so far.