NEW YORK TIMES 29.04.2001
Kampe i Sri Lanka, uenighed om antal ofre
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka, April 28 (AP) — Tamil Tiger guerrillas said they
had inflicted "a humiliating military debacle" on government troops
today, driving them out of newly captured territory in a battle that
left hundreds dead.
A Defense Ministry statement confirmed that its troops had pulled back
to their original positions east of Jaffna city, in the face of heavy
rebel shelling and mortar fire.
The government said three days of fighting had left 157 soldiers dead
and 860 wounded. The Defense Ministry said 190 rebels had been killed
and more than 400 wounded.
But a rebel statement from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said
75 guerrillas had died. It put the government losses at more than 400
dead and 2,000 wounded.
The battle was part of a government offensive after the rebels ended a
four-month-old cease-fire on Tuesday. On Thursday, the military said
it had captured three square miles of territory and driven the rebels
south toward the strategic Elephant Pass.
The rebels have been fighting since 1983 for an independent Tamil
homeland, in the north and east, claiming discrimination by the