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14 rebels killed in Sri Lankan north
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The Sri Lankan military said on Friday 14 rebels were killed in separated confrontations between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north on Thursday.

Officials from the Media Center for National Security said nine LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) rebels were killed in confrontations in the Vavuniya district while another five were killed in the Mannar district.

In Vavuniya, eight rebels were killed while three soldiers were also injured in a battle at West Mullikulam area around 3:15 P.M. local time (0945 GMT).

Another rebel was killed when the troops attacked and destroyed an LTTE's bunker at Vilayathikulam around 5:40 P.M. (1210 GMT).

Meanwhile, in Mannar, three rebels were killed when a group of rebels attempted to infiltrate into Parappakandal area around 6:30 A.M. local time (0100 GMT).

Two other rebels were killed in Nanthottam around 6:00 A.M. ( 0030 GMT).

Intensive military conflicts are underway in the north, with the government determining to defeat the LTTE before the end of this year.

The military said more than 700 people have been killed in the escalating conflict since the beginning of this year.

The LTTE has been fighting for a separate homeland for minority Tamils in the north and east for more than two decades, resulting in the death of more than 70,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency February 22, 2008)

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