Friday, January 25, 2008

Prabha escapes air strike as army makes headway on Mannar front

The government yesterday acknowledged that it hadn’t been able to confirm whether LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had been present when jets zeroed-in-on an LTTE base east of Iranamadu tank in Kalmadulam, Kilinochchi at 11.25 am on Wednesday.

"We haven’t been able to verify this," an authoritative spokesperson said. He declined to comment on whether the targeted base had been hit before and discuss the combination of the jets involved in the attack.

Well informed sources said that at least 15 LTTE cadres were believed to have been killed in the strike. The targeted base, situated within a high security zone used by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran had been devastated by the attack but at the time of the bombing the LTTE leader hadn’t been there.

Late last November, the government claimed that jets launched from Katunayake air base bombed an underground facility west of Kilinochchi used by the LTTE leader and that the same was attacked two days later. But this claim too hadn’t been substantiated.

However, the army engaged in operations on the Mannar front continued to make significant headway with LTTE defences crumbling under intense military pressure. The military said that troops had secured the area west of Yoda Wewa and brought the road that runs from the northwest towards southeast by late Wednesday. (SF)