B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military on Monday claimed that at least 18 cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam killed and several others were injured in fighting in the north.

According to statistics released by the Defence Ministry, over 2,500 LTTE cadres have been killed by the military since January 1. More than 7,200 Tigers have been killed since December 2005.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa took office in November 2005.

With the LTTE-controlled areas virtually cut off from the rest of the world and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) having wound up its operations, it is impossible for any independent verification of the claims and counter claims made by the military and the Tigers. The Media Centre for National Security said that on Sunday 11 LTTE cadres were killed on the Vavuniya front. Ten Tigers were killed in two separate clashes in Kallikula while another LTTE cadre was killed in Navathkulam.

Mine explosion

Three army soldiers suffered injuries in anti-personnel mine explosions in the Kokilmoddai, Periyathampane, and Ramanathankulam areas.

The MCNS claimed that five LTTE cadres were killed and 19 others were injured when troops launched an operation to liberate Tamil civilians in the Wanni. Two Tigers were killed in two separate incidents in the general areas north of Welioya and Kokkuthduwai; 12 LTTE cadres were injured.