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Sri Lanka fighting kills 24 rebels

Sri Lankan war planes pounded a Tamil Tiger supply facility in the embattled northern region, while renewed infantry clashes killed 24 rebels and four soldiers.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2008 15:40 IST

Sri Lankan war planes pounded a Tamil Tiger supply facility in the embattled northern region on Friday, while renewed infantry clashes killed 24 rebels and four soldiers, the military said.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks in the Indian Ocean island, with the military capturing a series of rebel bases and large chunks of territory and government officials reiterating their pledge to crush the rebel group by the end of the year.

In the latest assault, fighter jets bombed a Tamil Tiger supply facility deep in the jungle in the rebel-held Mullaitivu district early on Friday, said air force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara.

He said details of the bombing raid's casualties and damage were not immediately available but that the pilots had confirmed they "hit the target accurately".

Hours later, in the nearby Kilinochchi district, helicopter gunships attacked a rebel bunker line in support of troops fighting on the ground, Nanayakkara said.

On Thursday, a series of ground battles took place in Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi, Welioya, Jaffna and Vavuniya regions, military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Army troops killed six guerrillas in separate clashes in Kilinochchi and lost two soldiers, he said.

Seven insurgents and a soldier died in several confrontations in Mullaitivu, he said.

Scattered battles in other parts killed 11 rebels and a soldier, the military spokesman said.