Sri Lankan troops killed 27 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh fighting in the country's far north, the military said today, as government forces continued their push against the rebels' northern stronghold.
The fighting came days after the military claimed they had entered the rebels' de-facto capital in the north of the island, amid a daily barrage of land, sea and air attacks in rebel-held territories in that area.
"Troops killed 27 terrorists and wounded 23 in fighting on Monday," said a spokesman at the Media Centre for National Security, asking not to be named in line with policy.
"One solder had also died and five (were) wounded."
The Tigers, fighting for an independent state in north and east Sri Lanka for ethnic Tamils, a minority in the predominantly Sinhalese country, were not immediately available for comment.
Sri Lanka's government is pursuing a strategy to gradually retake the Tiger's northern stronghold and win the 25-year civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.
Analysts say the military has an advantage in the latest phase of the war given its superior air power, strength of numbers and swathes of terrain captured in the island's east. But they still see no clear winner on the horizon.