Colombo: At least 20 LTTE rebels and two soldiers were killed in fierce gunbattles across Sri Lanka's strife-torn north even as the army opened a vital transit point bordering the rebel held areas in the region.
The supplies of essential commodities is expected to improve considerably for the people in the embattled north after the Sri Lanka Army reopened the Omanthai point on Monday evening.
Omanthai point is the southern most entrance between the areas controlled by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE in the Northern province.
According to the defence sources, the International Committee of Red Cross also opened its office at the point, which had remained closed since July one after its officials withdrew due to security reasons.
In ground clashes, at least seven tiger rebels were shot dead in clashes in Navatkulama, Ampaddankulam and Palaimoddai areas in Vavuniya on Sunday, the military said.
Troops killed two LTTE cadres in Muhamalai in Jaffna peninsula on Sunday. One soldier also died during a separate confrontation which occurred in the Muhamalai on Sunday evening, it said.
Another soldier lost his life in Puthukamam area of Mannar during clashes in which four tiger rebels were also killed.
Meanwhile snipers deployed in the South of Vidattaltivu area said they shot down three LTTE cadres on Sunday.
On the Welioya front, troops were involved in a series of clashes with the tamil separatists in the areas North of Janakapura, Kiriibbanwewa and Andankulama.
At least four LTTE militants were killed and eight others wounded in these confrontations on Sunday, the ministry said quoting sources.