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Tamil Tigers say killed 90 Sri Lankan troops

[AFP, Thursday, 11 December 2008 07:55 No Comment]

Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers say they have killed at least 90 government soldiers while beating back an army advance towards their northern political capital, a pro-rebel website said Thursday.


Heavy fighting outside the town of Kilinochchi, the political headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), left more than 60 soldiers killed and scores wounded, Tamilnet.com quoted the rebels as saying following this week's clashes.


"More than 60 soldiers were killed and 12 army bodies recovered by the LTTE defensive units… 120 soldiers were wounded," Tamilnet said. "The fighting was intense till the army was pushed back."


The rebels also fought heavy battles on another front south of Kilinochchi on Wednesday, killing 29 soldiers and injuring at least 60, the website said. The LTTE did not release its own casualty figures.


It is virtually impossible to verify casualty claims by either side as independent reporters and aid workers are banned from the north.


There was no immediate comment from Sri Lanka's defence ministry on the Tiger claims, but the military confirmed that troops were keeping up an offensive in Kilinochchi.


"Troops were able to chase them (Tigers) away…. It is believed several Tigers suffered injuries or death during those confrontations," the military said.


The Sri Lankan government pulled out of a Norwegian-brokered truce in January, and its troops are now locked in fierce combat around Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of Colombo.

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