Sri Lankan troops enter LTTE’s last stronghold: military

February 28th, 2009 - 5:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Feb 28 (IANS) Sri Lankan troops, launching fierce ground attacks from various directions, have fought their way into Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last major stronghold of the Tamil Tiger rebels, defence authorities here said Saturday.
“The troops have entered Puthukkudiyiruppu (in the Mullaitivu district) and are now conducting an offensive operation there,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told IANS.

He said the troops have inflicted heavy damages on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres and have recovered the bodies of nine rebels along with three T-56 assault riffles from the area.

The defence ministry in a report said: “The multi-pronged military surge towards Puthukkudiyiruppu town continues, as troops are now reportedly positioned some 200 metres from the seizing control over the Puthukkudiyiruppu junction.”

It said the army’s 55 Division troops positioned south of Chalai, a coastal village where the LTTE had its naval wing bases till last month, have advanced further after “an intense assault launched since Friday evening”.

It said troops were “gaining control over sections of the LTTE built earth bund at Puthumathalan”, a village lying south of Chalai along the eastern coastal belt and have seized two LTTE sea attack craft that were damaged due to military artillery attacks.

Intercepted LTTE communication have revealed that 13 LTTE cadres were killed and many more wounded in the attack and LTTE’s Sea Tiger wing chief Soosai “have commanded” the counter-attack against the advancing troops.

The defence ministry said Soosai had operated from an undisclosed location in Puthukkudiyiruppu, lambasting at the LTTE ground leaders for failing to stall the military advance.

“If they (army) inch further we are done for ever,” the defence ministry has quoted Soosai as saying Friday in an intercepted communication.

Meanwhile, the army’s 58 Division troops advancing along the A-35 highway that links Paranthan with the Mullaitivu have found “a high-tech communication center” of the LTTE at a jungle village lying northwest of Puthukkudiyiruppu Friday.

“Troops found modern communication and television transmitting equipment damaged and scattered all over the premises installed with satellite antennas and powered by soundproof electricity generators,” the military said.

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