Tamil Tiger rebels launched a major attack on a military gun position in northern Sri Lanka, wounding at least 15 soldiers, official sources said on Sunday.
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) shelled the Pampaimadu military position where security forces had placed a long-range gun, the sources said.
Heavy shelling was heard on Saturday night in Pampaimadu in the district of Vavuniya, which borders the rebel-held Wanni region, residents and officials said.
There was no immediate word from the military about the clash, but the pro-rebel Puthinam.com website said the Tigers had killed eight soldiers and wounded about 10.
Two soldiers wounded in the clash were brought to the main hospital in Vavuniya, 256 kilometres (160 miles) north of Colombo, while many more were flown by helicopter to the bigger health facility at Anuradhapura, further south.
Earlier Saturday, three rebels were shot dead by security forces in a separate confrontation along the de facto border separating rebel-held territory from the rest of the country, officials said.
The latest night-time clash in the north erupted hours after the air force bombed suspected Tamil Tiger positions in the island's east.
Fighter aircraft bombed the jungles of Thoppigala in the eastern district of Batticaloa on Saturday morning, the defence ministry said. It gave no further details.
Government troops and Tamil rebels have been locked in combat following the breakdown of a 2002 Norwegian-arranged truce.
The conflict has killed more than 5,000 people in the past 18 months.
The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland since 1972. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the conflict.