Military: Fighting in Sri Lanka kills 17 rebels, one soldier

A series of battles along the front lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 17 ethnic Tamil rebels and one soldier, the military said Tuesday. In the worst of the fighting Monday in Sri Lanka's northern jungles, government forces killed nine Tamil Tiger fighters in the Welioya area, the military said in a statement. A battle in Vavuniya killed four guerrillas and a clash in the Mannar area killed four other rebels and a soldier, the military said. In a separate battle in Jaffna, troops destroyed four rebel bunkers, the military said. Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not immediately available for comment.Independent accounts of the fighting are unavailable as there is no media access to the war zone.