31 Tamil Tigers killed, LTTE positions smashed: Sri Lanka

March 19th, 2009 - 3:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 19 (IANS) At least 31 Tamil Tiger guerrillas were killed and many more reported wounded during fresh clashes with troops in Sri Lanka’s north-eastern Mullaitivu district, the defence ministry said Thursday.
The ministry said that 23 rebels were killed and as many reported injured Wednesday as troops of the 58 Division inching towards the last LTTE strongholds “ran into identified LTTE resistance positions” located in general area northeast of Puthukkudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu.

Eleven more cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were reportedly shot dead in the same area by the troops operating in the forward defence locations. Bodies of 12 guerrillas, as many T-56 assault riffles and an I-com set were recovered during the search operations, the defence ministry report said.

Separately, 55 Division troops deployed in area south of Chalai, a coastal village in Mullaitivu, also killed eight more rebels Wednesday.

According the military, the LTTE which once controlled a major portion of the northern and eastern provinces of the island nation, have now been boxed into a mere 28 sq km land stretch in Mullaitivu, facing an unprecedented military thrust from various directions.

Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said that the number of civilians fleeing the rebel-held areas was on the rise and over 45,500 internally displaced people have entered the government-held areas since the beginning of 2009.

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