Sri Lanka violence leaves 30 dead: Army
The Sri Lankan military sent tanks and warplanes into the eastern Batticaloa district after the rebels attacked government troops.india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 13:17 IST
Renewed fighting in Sri Lanka's embattled northern and eastern regions has left at least 30 people dead, according to defence ministry figures on Friday.
Security forces killed 19 Tamil Tiger rebels in two clashes on Thursday in the eastern district of Batticaloa where four policemen also died, the ministry said.
It said the guerrillas had also shot dead two civilians in the east on the same day and five Tiger guerrillas were shot dead in a confrontation in the northern Vavuniya district.
The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) said they lost only one combatants in the island's east on Thursday and accused the military of killing a student and wounding five others.
No independent verification of casualty claims was possible amid ongoing clashes between the two sides.
The LTTE and the Sri Lankan government have escalated fighting in the past year in tit-for-tat battles that have claimed over 3,400 lives despite a 2002 ceasefire agreement.
The bitter ethnic conflict has claimed at least 60,000 lives since it began in 1972.