LTTE intelligence chief’s hideout captured: Sri Lanka

March 25th, 2009 - 1:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, March 25 (IANS) Sri Lankan troops forcing their way into the last strongholds of the Tamil Tigers have captured a hideout of the rebels’ intelligence wing chief, Pottu Amman, in the north-eastern Mullaitivu district, the defence ministry said Wednesday.
It said that the 58 Division have captured “the safe house (that) was used by both Pottu Amman and (another LTTE leader) Kapil Amman” in the general area south of Iranapalai at the Mullaitivu battlefront after fierce clashes Tuesday.

The ministry said that the troops during the subsequent search operation “have also found a jeep believed (to be) used by Pottu Amman himself”.

The capture of the hideout of Pottu Amman has come amid media reports that he was now leading the offensive against the advancing troops along with the elusive rebel chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran and his elder son Charles Antony.

Prabhakaran and Pottu Amman are wanted in India for their links with the 1991 assassination of former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The defence ministry in a separate report said that the 58 Division troops have “repulsed an LTTE offensive thrust against the advancing military formations, north of Iranapalai”, inflicting heavy damages among the rebels Tuesday.

“The LTTE terrorists had made a desperate attempt to breach the military forward defences, only to be left in total disarray due to intense armour and small arms fire by security forces,” it said, charging that the rebels have continued to fire heavy artillery and mortar from several locations at the declared No Fire Zone.

The military had said that the LTTE was now boxed into a mere 28 square km land area in Mullaitivu district and was facing a multi-pronged military onslaught.

It said that the number of civilians fleeing the rebel-held areas defying LTTE orders was on the rise and over 47,000 displaced people have entered the government-held areas since the beginning of 2009.

They are being temporarily housed in welfare centres and villages in the northern Vavuniya district.

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