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100 dead in battle for Sri Lankan rebel enclave
03/08/2009
Fierce fighting between Sri Lankan troops and ethnic Tamil separatists defending their last remaining enclave has left about 100 rebels dead in two days of fighting, the military said Sunday. The army has ousted the Tamil Tigers from most of their strongholds in an all-out offensive the government hopes will end the South Asian island's 25-year civil war. The rebel holdouts are confined to about 20 square miles (50 square kilometers) of jungle and beach near Mullaittivu on the northeastern coast along with up to 200,000 terrified civilians. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said Sunday that troops had killed about 100 rebels in a series of clashes in rebel-held territory since Friday, though he cautioned that only about 50 bodies were found.
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