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Bloodbath as SL army enters LTTE bastion

T V Sriram in Colombo | October 18, 2008 18:18 IST

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Fierce clashes between Sri Lankan security forces and the LTTE [Images] militants in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi has left many Tamil tiger rebels dead as the army made further inroads into the island nation's embattled north, officials said on Saturday.

"A large number of LTTE terrorists were reported killed and injured by troops during the heavy fighting throughout Friday in Nedunkandal West, South east and east areas of Akkarayankulam, Vannarikulam and Pallawarayankadu," the defence ministry said.

Two bodies of LTTE cadres, Five T56 assault rifles and some ammunition were recovered by troops from the area in a search operation conducted by troops after the confrontations, it said.

Two soldiers were reported wounded in an Anti-Personnel Mine explosion and another soldier killed and two others injured in an incident of mortar fire by LTTE militants in the same area on Friday, it said.

The Kilinochchi battlefront has been intensely active since Saturday morning as troops of 57 Division have cleared the LTTE-built earth bund from both east and the west of Akkarayankulam, battlefield sources said.

According to the sources, troops have run at the LTTE defence kept along the earth bund and entered into the remaining LTTE hiding areas in the area north of Akkarayankualm tank.

Meanwhile, troops of Task Force 1 operating in the South of Nachchikudha in Kilinochchi have commenced their offensive march towards north early Saturday morning, the army said.

"Simultaneously, their fellow troops are continuing to maintain the southward thrust from Pallawarayankaddu south," the army said, adding Task Force 1 soldiers have cut off all land access routes available for the LTTE militants in their Nachchikudha stronghold.

Sources said troops manning the blockades in Nachhcikudaha thwarted two LTTE reinforcement attempts on Saturday morning.

In an incident, troops attacked a group consisting about 25 LTTE cadres in the north of

Pallawarayankaddu area and caused heavy damages to them, the sources said.

In the other incident, troops attacked a group of tiger rebels travelling on a canter vehicle in the Madam area in the region.

Meanwhile, intercepted radio transmissions revealed that LTTE leader Bhanu has abandoned his position on the western half of the Kilinochchi front, the defence ministry said.

According to the sources Bhanu was in charge of the LTTE defence against the Task Force 1. At Mullaittivu, the security forces captured three trenches used by the LTTE in the Andankulam area on Friday, the Media Centre for National Security said.

As many as 115 Anti- Personnel Mines and military hardware were recovered by Troops in the search operation conducted after the attack, it said.

Meanwhile, one soldier who was injured in an LTTE attack in Yala in southern Sri Lanka [Images] on Friday succumbed to his injuries later in the day in a hospital, the MCNS said.




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