COLOMBO, Feb 12: Tamil Tiger mortar fire killed six Sri Lankan soldiers on Tuesday while troops backed by artillery fire killed 48 rebels in a series of battles in the north of the island, the military said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were not available for comment and analysts say both sides tend to inflate enemy casualty figures in the absence of independent accounts of the fighting.

The pro-rebel website www.tamilnet.com said government troops launched an artillery attack from camps in Mannaar district towards Tamil Tiger held territories after an artillery attack carried out by the rebels.

Fighting between the military and the LTTE rebels has intensified since the government scrapped a six-year ceasefire pact last month. —Reuters

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