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Lankan troops take full control of Jaffna

January 14, 2009 20:09 IST

Sri Lankan troops on Wednesday captured the last remaining Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam-held area in Jaffna, establishing total government control over the strategic northern peninsula. 

A senior LTTE Sea Tiger leader identified only as 'Thiru' was killed during the battle to take over the Chundikulam area, Military spokesperson Uday Nanayakkara said.

Troops also captured 100 boats, a number of vehicles, 400 anti-personnel mines and 40 anti-tank mines.

"The last land on Jaffna has been liberated," he said.

The northern peninsula is strategically located and has long been a prized catch for both the warring sides in the island's decades-old ethnic strife.

"We believe the rebels have suffered heavy casualties but other LTTE cadre must have removed the bodies. The army has suffered no casualty," Nanayakkara said.

The new success for the advancing Lankan troops came five days after they seized the strategic Elephant Pass, the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula.

The LTTE, which has already lost its de facto capital Kilinochchi, now only controls its coastal stronghold of Mullaittivu.

Sri Lankan troops on Wednesday advanced further into Mullaittivu, killing seven Tamil Tigers in ground clashes amidst a spate of air attacks by fighter jets in the region, the military said.

T V Sriram in Colombo
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