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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
More clashes in Sri Lankan north
Sri Lankan soldier
The army says it has repulsed recent Tamil Tiger attacks
Troops in Sri Lanka have killed at least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels in overnight and daylight battles in the north of the island, the military says.

The army says that since Monday around 60 rebels have been killed, but there has no independent confirmation and no comment from the rebels.

The military says that a soldier was killed during fighting on Wednesday.

Government forces have made gains from the rebels in the east of the island and want to do the same in the north.

The army says that on two occasions on Wednesday and Thursday, rebel fighters have tried to push across the military's front lines and fight gun battles with soldiers.

But it says each time the rebels were repulsed with small arms fire before troops counter-attacked and destroyed bunkers.

Sri Lanka map

There was also an artillery clash between the two sides on Wednesday near Vavuniya, just south of rebel-controlled territory, which killed seven rebel fighters and the soldier, the military said.

A roadside bomb - also on Wednesday - killed a Roman Catholic priest who was providing food for displaced people inside a rebel-held area in Mannar, a church official said.

The Tamil Tigers have blamed an army guerrilla warfare unit for the attack, but the military has denied it was responsible.

Mannar is on the edge of a swathe of territory held by Tigers in the north where they run a civil administration.

Fighting has risen over the past year, with thousands of people killed. A 2002 truce exists now only on paper.

The rebels want independence for the minority Tamil community in the north and east, who they say are discriminated against by majority Sinhalese.


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