Troops recapture rebel stronghold on Sri Lanka coast

July 20th, 2008 - 4:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, July 20 (DPA) Government troops with air cover recaptured a rebel stronghold on the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka as two soldiers and at least 18 rebels were killed, the defence ministry said Sunday. Troops took control of Iluppaikkadavai town, 360 km north of the capital, by mid-day Sunday after one of the rebel bases in the area was captured overnight, the ministry said.

It was the second town along the coast taken by the army in five days.

The recapture of the area was considered significant for cutting rebel supply routes from the north-western coast across the Bay of Bengal.

The government claims the rebels have been confined to two of the northern districts, though sporadic fighting has been reported elsewhere.

The military said two soldiers and 18 rebels were killed in separate clashes Saturday.

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