Attacks on rebels continue in Sri Lanka

March 25th, 2008 - 9:13 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, March 25 (DPA) Air, sea and ground attacks on rebels by Sri Lankan security forces continued Tuesday in the northern part of the country as the government claimed that rebels lost as many as 500 cadres in three weeks. A flotilla of rebel boats moving off the coast area of Pulmuddai, 320 km northeast of the capital, was attacked by the navy Tuesday morning, a military spokesman said.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels who were moving towards military controlled areas had abandoned their journey and fled, but at least one of the boats was damaged by naval fire, he said.

The attack came three days after rebels set off an explosion sinking one of the navy’s fast attack craft, killing 11 sailors in Mullaitivu, about 40 km north of Tuesday’s attack.

In Mullaitivu, air force fighter jets bombed what they called a rebel storage facility of military hardware and equipment Tuesday.

The military spokesman claimed that the target was taken out accurately and was completely destroyed.

In a separate development, the government handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) 11 bodies of rebels killed in two separate clashes over the weekend.

Among those killed were six women cadres.

Government troops continued ground attacks on rebels in the northern Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar areas, killing at least 10 rebels Monday and Tuesday.

The clashes came as the chief military spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, said that during the past three weeks 501 rebels have been killed in confrontations in the north while during the same period 54 security personnel also have been killed.

The claims by the military cannot be verified independently.

The government and military commanders have declared that they want to recapture the rebel-controlled areas by the end of the year.

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