COLOMBO (AFP) - Thirty Tamil Tiger rebels and four soldiers were killed in two days of gunbattles in Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Friday. Ground battles took place on Wednesday and Thursday across the tropical island's war-torn northern region, the ministry said in a statement. Sri Lankan warplanes on Friday carried out air raids over the rebel-controlled northern region of Mullaittivu, targeting a Tiger logistics base, the air force said, adding that the mission was successful. Troops have killed 5,017 rebels since January and 446 soldiers have died in combat over the same period, according to defence ministry figures. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which has waged a bloody fight since 1972 for an independent homeland for ethnic Tamils, did not comment on the claims. Casualty figures on both sides cannot be independently verified as the defence ministry bars journalists from travelling to the frontlines.