(CNN) A fierce battle between soldiers and Tamil Tiger fighters raged across the front lines in northern Sri Lanka Wednesday, killing 30 rebels and six soldiers, the military said.
Fighting erupted about 5:30 a.m., when insurgents attacked government positions along the front lines at Muhamalai in the Jaffna Peninsula, just north of rebel-held territory, said a Defense Ministry official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
He said the battle killed 30 guerrillas and six soldiers. No independent confirmation of the fighting was available and rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan was not answering his phone.
Both sides in the war routinely exaggerate their enemies casualties while undercounting their own. The rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site said insurgents repelled a military operation, causing heavy casualties to soldiers. One rebel was killed, it said.
Other fighting announced Wednesday killed five rebels along the front lines, the military said.