Sri Lanka jets bomb rebels a day after deadly battle
Friday, 25 April 2008

REUTERS, COLOMBO - Sri Lankan planes bombed rebel positions on Thursday, a day after dozens of Tamil Tiger fighters and government troops were killed in one of the bloodiest battles in 25 years of civil war.

The army said it killed over 100 rebels in fighting around the northern Jaffna Peninsula on Wednesday, but also admitted 43 government troops were killed and 33 missing in action.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels said they killed more than 100 soldiers and lost 16 of their own fighters in the 10-hour battle.

Fighting between government forces and the Tigers has intensified since the government formally pulled out of a six-year-old ceasefire pact in January.

The military said Wednesday's battle was initiated by the rebels in a bid to recapture lost territory in the Jaffna Peninsula. The rebels insisted the military had tried to take their positions.

"The airforce fighter jets attacked a LTTE 'Black Tiger' training base," said Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, referring to Thursday's raids against the feared rebel suicide bomber squad.

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