War will continue until last Tiger is killed: Rajapaksa

August 19th, 2008 - 3:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Aug 19 (IANS) Riding on public support for the ongoing war against the Tamil Tigers, President Mahinda Rajapaksa has declared that the military campaign will continue “until the last rebel is killed or every inch of land is captured”, a media report said Tuesday. President Rajapaksa made these remarks while addressing an election rally of his United People Freedom Alliance (UPFA) at Ruwanwella in Sabaragamuwa province Monday.

Provincial council elections are scheduled to be held for the Sabaragamuwa and North-Central provincial councils Aug 23. The ruling UPFA is facing a stiff challenge from the United National Party (UNP) of former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“We liberated the eastern province and will liberate the north too very shortly. There is no turning back under any circumstances or influence now, until every inch of land is recaptured and each and every terrorist is killed or captured,” the state-run Daily News quoted the president as saying at the rally.

Pointing out that it was by no means an easy task and that the troops have to face “daunting challenges and obstacles as they proceed”, the president however, expressed hope that “they would end up victoriously”.

Remarks by President Rajapaksa, who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has come at a time when advancing troops are locked in fierce fighting with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north.

Meanwhile, the defence ministry said in a report Tuesday that the LTTE launched heavy artillery attacks, targeting troops manning the defences at Muhamalai and Nagarkovil areas in Jaffna peninsula, leaving three soldiers dead and two wounded Monday.

“The troops responded with artillery and rocket fire and brought the situation under control. Three soldiers were killed in the attack,” the ministry said Tuesday.

The Media Centre for National Security said that at least 21 guerrillas were killed and as many wounded in separate clashes with the troops in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Weli-Oya areas in the north Monday. It said 12 soldiers were wounded.

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