NORTH: TOLL OF ARMY-LTTE CLASHES RISES, ALSO CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

Tuesday
16:44:34
September
25 2007

NORTH: TOLL OF ARMY-LTTE CLASHES RISES, ALSO CIVILIAN CASUALTIES

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SRI LANKA; Misna: Dozens of fighters of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) were killed in the past two days of fighting with government forces in the extreme north of Sri Lanka, in which civilians were also caught today. The Defence ministry of Colombo, which yesterday reported at least 20 dead among the rebels, communicated that at dawn the army confronted a group of LTTE fighters that were firing artillery at civilians. The confrontation reportedly resulted in nine rebels and two civilians dead and some thirty wounded. No confirmation has arrived in regard from the LTTE, which admitted only to the loss of ten men in two separate clashes yesterday.

Before Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa is due to address the United Nations General Assembly today in New York, the rebels " that have been combating for 35 years for an autonomous territory in north and east Sri Lanka for the Tamil minority " issued a statement calling on the government to “halt its military oppression ethnic cleansing and serious human rights violations”, “accept the aspirations of the Tamil people and come forward to find a resolution that is based on the right to self-determination of the Tamil people”. The rebels also called on the international community to support the Tamil cause. Based on recent estimates, since 1983 the Sri Lankan war has left some 68,000 dead, of which 5,000 since the resumption of fighting in 2006 after a four-year truce. [BO]

Source by MISNA


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