46 combatants killed as Tiger territory captured: Sri Lankan military

September 2nd, 2008 - 4:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Sep 2 (IANS) The Sri Lankan military has captured fresh territory from the Tamil Tiger rebels in the north amid fierce fighting that has left at least 46 combatants killed, defence officials said here Tuesday.Three fourths of Mallavi, a highly guarded LTTE-held village located on the Mankulam- Vellankaum road, in west Mullaitivu was captured by the security forces Monday amid fierce resistance.

“The LTTE’s main supply routes, Vellankulam-Mankulam, Mallavi-Kokkavil, Mallavi-Nachchikuda and several link roads are also running across this central town. A few more adjoining vulnerable areas located in Mallavi town are yet to be cleared,” the defence ministry said Tuesday.

The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) claimed Tuesday that 43 rebels and three soldiers killed while 31 rebels and 21 soldiers were wounded during these sporadic clashes in Weli-Oya, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Jaffna areas.

The ministry has released photographs of the newly captured areas in the north.

The pro-LTTE Tamilnet.com website quoted LTTE sources in the Wanni as saying that the rebels have fiercely confronted a multi-pronged military advancement in the Kilinochchi district and located seven dead bodies of soldiers killed in the action Monday.

“The SLA’s push to advance through several fronts were thwarted after stiff fighting that continued throughout the night till Tuesday morning,” the pro-rebel website claimed.

It, however, did not give casualty details suffered by the rebels during these clashes.

The ministry of human rights and disaster management Monday announced that the ministry of defence had taken “swift measures to establish a safe corridor” to enable civilians in the LTTE-held territory in the north to enter government-held areas in Vavuniya.

It said the government had decided to further develop Vavuniya, 253 km north of Colombo, “as a storage and logistic hub” for humanitarian assistance.

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