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Bodies of 15 found after gun battle on Sri Lanka's eastern coast

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By Reuters

COLOMBO (Reuters) – The bodies of 15 people, including six children, were discovered at the site of a fierce overnight gun battle on the east coast of Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said on Saturday, six days after a rash of suicide bomber attacks that killed more than 250 people.

The gun battle between troops and suspected Islamist militants erupted on Friday evening in Sainthamaruthu in Ampara, to the south of the town of Batticaloa, site of one of the Easter Sunday blasts at luxury hotels and churches.

The police and military had earlier said four gunmen and a civilian had been killed in the shootout. The 15 were found in the morning during clearance operations.

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)