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Lankan army kills 61 rebels; captures key area
T V Sriram in Colombo | January 29, 2008 21:21 IST
Sri Lankan security forces on Tuesday captured a key area of the rebel-held territory in the island's north as a series of clashes in the restive region left at least 59 Tamil Tigers and two soldiers dead.
The army captured the Viyattankulam area in Mannar after killing 22 rebels and destroying 16 bunkers, the Media Centre for National Security said in a statement.
In a separate incident, nine Tigers were gunned down in Welioya in Jaffna by the troops on Monday, the defence ministry said.
Another rebel was killed and a bunker destroyed when troops attacked a group of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam cadres in Janakpura in Welioya on Monday, it said, adding that troops gunned down one more guerrilla in a similar incident later in the day.
Separately, a rebel was killed and three injured in the same area last evening, the MCNS said.
At Kiribbanwewa in Welioya, security forces killed one LTTE cadre in a clash on Monday, the army said, adding that later in the day four more rebels were gunned down in an encounter in the same area.
In another confrontation, security forces destroyed some LTTE bunkers and killed four Tiger rebels at Kilali in Jaffna on Monday, the MCNS said.
At Muhamale in Jaffna, one soldier was killed when he got caught in a booby trap bomb, the army said, adding three soldiers were also injured in the incident.
Three rebels were killed in Navatkulam area of Vavuniya on Monday in a clash with the army, the defence ministry said, adding the troops gunned down another guerrilla at Periyapandirichchan.
In Vilathikulam area of Vavuniya, troops killed five rebels in a clash on Monday, the MCNS said, adding one soldier was also injured in the incident.
In a fierce battle at Umayarathuwankulam in Vavuniya, at least six rebels were killed on Monday, it said, adding another guerrilla was shot dead at Kallikulem in the same area.
One soldier was killed in a booby trap explosion at Mullikulam in Mannar on Monday, the army said.