Air Force Destroys Tamil Tiger Training Camp in Sri Lanka

Air force jets attacked and destroyed a Tamil Tiger training camp Monday in war-torn northern Sri Lanka, while two days of infantry clashes killed at least 15 combatants, the military said.

Fighter jets bombarded the training camp in Oddusuddan village of the rebel-held Mullaithivu district early Monday, the defense ministry said in a statement. Pilots confirmed the camp's destruction, but reported no casualties.

Separately on Monday, suspected Tamil rebels set off a roadside bomb targeting a bus carrying troops in northern Vavuniya district, a defense official said on condition of anonymity, citing government rules.

The blast wounded three sailors and one soldier, he said.

Also on Monday, soldiers attacked a rebel bunker along the front lines in the northern Jaffna Peninsula, killing four insurgents, the official said. Troops suffered no casualties.

On Sunday troops stationed in Parappaankandal village in northern Mannar district came under rebel mortar attack, killing one soldier and wounding four others, the official said.

The violence followed the military's announcement Saturday that it had captured part of Parappaankandal village from the rebels.

The two sides fought two more battles in neighboring Vavuniya district Sunday, killing five rebels and a soldier, the official said.

A separate clash broke out in Mannar district, leaving four rebels dead, he said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be contacted for comment Monday.

Government forces and the rebels have been battling for months over territory in the country's north, where the rebels have set up a de-facto state that the army has vowed to destroy. A spike in clashes there followed the government's announcement in July that it had driven the guerrillas from eastern parts of the country.

Ambushes, clashes and airstrikes have become frequent in areas surrounding rebel-held territory.

The rebels have fought the government since 1983 to create an independent homeland for the country's ethnic minority Tamils after decades of discrimination by the state. More than 70,000 people have been killed in nearly 25 years of fighting.