Sri Lanka: Fighting kills 24 rebels, 1 soldier in embattled north

A series of gunbattles between soldiers and separatist Tamil Tigers across Sri Lanka's embattled north left 24 insurgents and one soldier dead, the military said Thursday. Troops clashed with guerrillas along the front lines in the districts of Vavuniya and Mannar bordering the rebel-held areas on Wednesday, said a defense ministry official. Twenty-four rebels and one soldier were killed, the official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Another two soldiers were wounded. No immediate comment was available from the rebels.