Mine attack kills 2 policemen, 80 rebels killed
Two policemen were killed in a landmine blast in northern Sri Lanka on Monday, military officials said, as the defence ministry announced it had killed at least 80 Tiger rebels in weekend clashes.
An inspector and a constable were blown up in the district of Vavuniya while on a routine foot patrol early on Monday, a local military official said, blaming the attack on Tamil Tiger rebels.
Meanwhile, the defence ministry said that 80 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were killed in separate clashes along the front lines in the north of the island on Saturday and Sunday.
Five government soldiers were also reported killed.
According to the ministry's latest tally, 1,126 rebels have been killed so far this year. During the same period, 51 government soldiers and police have been killed, the ministry says.
Casualty figures given by the government or the Tamil Tigers cannot be independently verified, as journalists and human rights workers are not allowed to enter the battle zone.
The Sri Lankan government last month officially pulled out of a defunct truce with the rebels, who have fought for more than three decades for an independent ethnic homeland in the Sinhalese-majority island.
The conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
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