Sri Lankan government troops take control of strategic rebel town

January 1st, 2009 - 1:21 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Dec 31 (DPA) Government troops have taken control a strategic town in northern Sri Lanka after weeks of heavy fighting around the area as the army continues its advance into rebel-held areas, military officials said Wednesday.Paranthan a town located 385 km north of the capital, was taken by troops Wednesday evening as Mi 24 helicopters provided air support to advancing troops.

There were no details of any rebel casualties.

The army gaining control of the area is considered another major setback to the rebels of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) who are trying to defend their positions in two stronghold districts.

Security forces began their operation in August 2006 to recaputre rebel-held areas in the north.

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