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17 LTTE militants killed, rebels claim 26 soldiers dead
T V Sriram in Colombo | December 12, 2007 19:07 IST
Heavy gun battles between Sri Lankan security forces and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam militants on Wednesday left at least 17 Tamil Tigers dead, while rebels claimed they killed over two dozen soldiers in the island-nation's embattled north.
'The army attempted a large-scale, two-pronged push into the LTTE administered areas at Paalakkuli and Adampan in Mannar district on Tuesday,' the Tamil Tiger rebels said in a statement, claiming that 26 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed in overnight clashes in northern parts of the country.
'At least 20 army soldiers were killed and 75 others were wounded in this confrontation,' it said, adding three Tigers were also killed in the fighting.
However, the media centre for national security said as many as 16 soldiers were injured during clashes at Adampan.
It said two incidents of armed hostilities between army troops and LTTE militants in the general area of Muhamale on Wednesday left five rebels dead.
In another incident, the troops recovered 550 anti-personnel mines during a search operation at Narakamulla in Batticaloa on Tuesday, it said.
According to the LTTE, two security personnel were killed and six wounded when the troops made a futile attempt to get near Adampan from Manthai.
In another incident, heavy fighting on Tuesday night led to the killing or wounding of at least 12 LTTE militants in the northern lines, the army said.
Seven Tamil Tigers were killed or injured in Narikkulam in Mannar on Tuesday when troops launched a pre-emptive attack on the rebels, the army said.
Separately, five LTTE militants were killed or severely injured when the security forces launched an attack targeting a group of infiltrators in Parappakandal area in Mannar on Tuesday evening, it said.
The LTTE claimed that four soldiers were killed in a sniper fire by the rebels in Parappakandal area.