Heavy fighting as Sri Lanka troops approach Sea Tiger bastion

December 4th, 2008 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 4 (IANS) Fierce fighting broke out between the troops and the Tamil Tiger rebels as Sri Lankan soldiers made a fresh bid Thursday to advance towards a well-fortified Sea Tiger bastion in the north, the military here said.Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara told IANS that the ground troops operating in the north-western Mullaitivu district “were advancing towards the Sea Tiger bastion, Alampil”, located about 10 km south of Mullaitivu.

The defence ministry said after capturing Kumulamunai a couple of weeks ago, “a battle formation of 591 Brigade advanced along the northern bank of Nayaru lagoon and dominated Kumulamunai-Alampil road stepping up pressure on the Sea Tiger bastion Alampil”.

It said the LTTE has highly utilised the Nayaru lagoon located immediate south of Alampil “as the major Sea Tiger operational base for logistic transportation from Mullaitivu via sea routes” and also as a boat launching pad.

The Sea Tigers are the naval unit of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which has been fighting for a separate state in the northeast for a quarter century.

There was no immediate word from the LTTE about the fresh military claims.

According to reports, the LTTE has lost all its access to the high seas on the western coastal belt of the country, after the military recaptured the entire western coastal line from Mannar upto Pooneryn.

Despite bad weather and heavy LTTE resistance, Sri Lankan troops advancing in several directions were said to be operating on the outskirts of the LTTE’s “political capital” of Kilinochchi town, lying 350 km north of here.

Thousands have died and several hundreds of thousands have faced displacement in escalating fighting since late 2005.

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