Sri Lanka military says it killed 30 rebels

Sri Lanka's military said Thursday it has repulsed a Tamil Tiger counterattack in the north of the island and killed at least 30 rebels. The fighting took place on the edge of a shrinking Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam enclave in Sri Lanka's war-ravaged north, which government troops are battling to capture to end a 25-year civil war. "They (the rebels) tried to attack our forward defense lines of Iranaippalai yesterday ... We successfully repulsed the attack and over 30 LTTE cadres were reported killed," military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara said a number of soldiers were wounded in the battle. He did not give any details. The military does not give casualty figures for its troops. Access to the war zone is restricted and it is not possible to confirm the report. The rebels have been battling since 1983 for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka where it once controlled a large swath of territory, but a series of major victories by government forces in recent weeks has pushed them into a small pocket on the coast.