COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lankan forces killed at least 23 Tamil Tiger rebels in clashes at sea and on land, officials said today.

Sri Lankan naval gunboats destroyed two Tamil rebel speedboats off the northern coast early today, killing at least 10 guerrillas, military officials said. There were no casualties or damage to boats on the government side.

The sea battle a few miles from the rebel coastal base of Nachchikudah in the Kilinochchi district located 155 miles north of the capital, Colombo.

Defense Ministry spokesman Major Kumara Dewage said 11 rebels were shot and killed when troops poured artillery fire on a guerrilla base at Nayaru, 175 miles northeast of Colombo.

Troops learned of the casualties of Saturday's fight by listening in on rebel radio transmissions, Dewage said. Two other rebels were killed near the town of Mankulam, 155 miles north of Colombo, on Saturday when troops ambushed a group of rebels.

One government soldier was injured in Saturday's fighting.

There was no independent confirmation of the reports as the government bars journalists from visiting the northern war zone.

The rebels want a separate homeland for Sri Lanka's 3.3 million Tamils, accusing the 14 million Sinhalese majority of discrimination, a charge the government denies.

More than 57,000 people have died in the insurrection since 1983 in the country off India's southern coast.