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    Sri Lankan Air Force pounds LTTE stronghold: Officials

    Colombo (PTI): Sri Lankan Air Force pounded areas in the LTTE stronghold killing seven militants aboard a truck whereas, 26 others including two soldiers lost their lives in clashes elsewhere in the island nation's embattled north, officials said on Friday.

    The air force said a LTTE truck transporting its cadres to the battle field was destroyed and seven Tamil Tigers were killed in the incident yesterday in the rebel's bastion.

    The Sri Lankan air force used MI 24 Helicopters during the attack near Mathiramadu in the rebel strong hold in north, the Defence Ministry said.

    The Air Force also launched another attack at a LTTE Sea tiger base in Pooneryan in rebel held Kilinochchi on Thursday, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said.

    In a major ground offensive, troops killed at least 17 LTTE cadres and injured 25 others in Vedithalathivu and Periyamadu in North-western Mannar on Thursday, it said.

    It said the army also destroyed nine LTTE bunkers, leading to death of two soldiers and injuries to 10 others.

    The MCNS said two other soldiers were also missing in action during the Mannar offensive on Thursday.

    In another clash, one LTTE militant was gunned down in Janakapura area in north-east Welioya while two others were killed in North of Kiribbanwewa in the region on Thursday, the military said.

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