Heavy fighting as Lankan troops close in on Kilinochchi

December 8th, 2008 - 1:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 8 (IANS) Sri Lanka Monday said army troops, closing in on the Tamil Tigers’s “political capital”, Kilinochchi from several directions, were engaged in fierce fighting with the rebels on the outskirts of the town. The defence ministry said that the troops operating in the north of Kilinochchi town, 350 km north of here, were targeting movement of the rebels Sunday despite bad weather and heavy resistance.

“Troops of the 57 Division, continuing their multi-frontal thrust on the outer fringes of Kilinochchi at Adampan South, Puthumurippukulam, north of Kokkavil and Thirumurikandy, inflicted heavy damages to LTTE during intense fighting reported throughout Sunday,” the ministry claimed.

It said troops had captured two bunkers and destroyed another following a series of clashes with the rebels in these areas.

“The terrorists have also put on stiff resistance in the area despite sustaining heavy loses. The military advances continued amidst rains in both Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts Sunday,” it said.

There was no immediate word from the rebels regarding the defence ministry’s claims.

The ruling coalition of Mahinda Rajapaksa is facing a crucial vote in parliament Monday evening on its fourth budget, which proposes to hike defence spending by nearly seven percent to a record of Sri Lankan Rs.177.1 billion (approx 1.6 billion US dollars) in 2009 from Rs.166.44 billion in 2008.

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