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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 October 2007, 19:00 GMT 20:00 UK
Tamil Tigers claim naval bus hit
Sri Lankan soldiers by the wreckage of the bus
Buses carrying military personnel are often targeted in Sri Lanka
Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka say they have killed six navy personnel and wounded 12 others in a bus attack in southern Sri Lanka.

However, the Sri Lankan army has denied any knowledge of the alleged attack.

The rebels say that the attack happened late on Thursday evening in the Hambantota division of the island's southern province.

Rebel spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan told the TamilNet website that the bus was ambushed and came under gunfire.

His claim has been flatly denied by the Sri Lankan military, which told the BBC that it has received no information of such an incident.

Correspondents say both sides in the Sri Lankan war routinely make conflicting claims about the level of casualties and damage inflicted.

On Wednesday the Sri Lankan prime minister admitted that an attack on an air force base by Tamil rebels caused far more damage than previously acknowledged.

Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told parliament that eight aircraft, including an important spy plane, were destroyed in the attack on Monday.

Officials had earlier insisted that just two helicopters and a training plane were damaged in the attack.

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