News & Current Affairs

September 1, 2008

‘Scores dead’ in S Lanka fighting

Filed under: Latest — Tags: , , , , , , — expressyoureself @ 12:28 pm

‘Scores dead’ in S Lanka fighting

Tamil Tigers

The Tigers have been waging a decades-old war against Colombo

Forty two Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed in fresh fighting with security forces in Sri Lanka, the military says.

Five soldiers were also killed in battles which took place on frontlines in the north of the island on Sunday.

The military has advanced rapidly into rebel-controlled territory to crush the rebels and end their fight for a separate state for the Tamil minority.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting for a separate homeland in the north and east for 25 years.

More than 70,000 people have died in the fighting.

Sunday was a heavy day of fighting in northern Sri Lanka, according to the military’s spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara.

He said soldiers were trying to inflict the maximum number of casualties on the Tamil Tigers.

Surge in fighting

The bloodiest battle of the day was in Vavuniya, he said, where 18 rebels were killed as well as one soldier.

In Kilinochchi district, troops captured 500 metres of the Tigers’ defences and killed another seven rebels. Three soldiers died there.

And in government-controlled Anuradhapura special forces troops killed what Brig Nanayakkara described as 10 rebels who were trying to infiltrate, with the loss of one soldier.

There were more confrontations in Mullaitivu, and Jaffna, also in the north.

The Tamil Tigers have not commented on the military’s claims – with journalists barred from the conflict zone they cannot be independently verified.

Fighting has intensified in Sri Lanka in recent months as soldiers have advanced, aiming to crush the rebels and win the war which began a generation ago.

Tens of thousands of people have fled further in Tiger-controlled areas.

Over the weekend the rebels said the military had fired a shell which killed five civilians in a makeshift camp, including two small children.

The military denied the accusation.

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August 17, 2008

S Lankan army ‘takes rebel base’

S Lankan army ‘takes rebel base’

Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka

The Tamil Tigers have seen a string of reverses this year

Sri Lanka’s military say they have captured a training complex of the Tamil Tiger rebel group, complete with 100 underground bunkers.

The government says its forces are now 15km (nine miles) from Kilinochchi, the rebels’ administrative hub.

There is concern over tens of thousands of people displaced by the fighting who are converging on the town.

In recent weeks, Sri Lankan troops have broken through the Tamil Tigers’ defenses in the north of the island.

They have taken control of towns, villages and bases.

On Saturday soldiers captured a rebel training complex in Welioya after Tiger fighters fled the area.

Military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said it contained lecture halls as well as the bunkers.

Thousands flee

In fighting elsewhere across the north on Saturday, the military says 27 rebels and seven soldiers were killed.

BBC map

Repeated attempts to contact the Tigers by phone and e-mail have gone unanswered in recent days.

Government officials have said they aim to defeat the rebels before the year is out and end the island’s 25-year civil war.

The United Nations estimates up to 75,000 people have fled the fighting since the start of June and many have converged on the town.

Cabinet Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the forces were holding back in some areas while the government considered how to get the civilians out.

He accused the Tigers of using them as a human shield.

Relatively few civilians have crossed into government-controlled areas and last week Amnesty International alleged the government was putting those who have into what they called “de facto detention centres”.

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