Sri Lankan troops, LTTE locked in fierce fighting in northNovember 23rd, 2008 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS
Colombo, Nov 23 (IANS) Sri Lankan troops and the Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in a fierce gun battle as the army attempted to pierce through the rebel defences in the north, the defence ministry said Sunday.The ministry said that the troops in the north have launched attacks against “the LTTE-held earth bunds built around Kilinochchi outskirts”.
Kilinochchi town, located about 350 km north of Colombo, is considered the “political capital” of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) until the recent past.
Quoting latest reports from the battle front, the defence ministry said that “pitched battles are going on” at three different places in the west of Kilinochchi town.
There was no immediate word from the rebels.
The LTTE last week lost its strategic strongholds of Pooneryn in the western coast and Mankulam in southern end of areas under its control nearly after a decade, as it prepares to commemorate its fallen cadres in late November. The week-long event ends with an annual speech by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, who will turn 54 Nov 26.
The LTTE has been fighting to carve out a separate state in the northeast for a quarter of a century. Thousands have died in escalating fighting between the army and the LTTE since late 2005.