Sri Lanka
Twelve killed in Lanka clashes
Mar 21, 2007 - 11:15:59 AM

Colombo, March 21 - At least four soldiers and eight Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a clash in Sri Lanka's troubled eastern Batticaloa district early Wednesday.

Defence officials said Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - cadres attacked four army camps in the region killing four troops and injuring 14.

The fire was retaliated, the officials said. At least eight bodies of LTTE rebels, including a female, were recovered from the battlefield, they added. More than 30 rebels were also reported injured.

The search operation is still going on in the region.

The army also claimed to have recovered some weapons and ammunition from the encounter site.

Regular clashes between the LTTE and the troops erupted in July last year, with at least two key Tigers being captured. The two sides are currently being locked in a fierce battle in Batticaloa's Thoppigala area, which remains one of the major hideouts for the LTTE in the east.

The escalation of the armed conflict since December 2005 has claimed over 4,000 lives so far, throwing into jeopardy the Norwegian backed process of direct negotiations.

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