Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sri Lanka troops capture rebel village in north

COLOMBO, Jan. 29 - Sri Lankan military claimed Tuesday that a village under Tamil Tiger control was captured in the morning hours while killing 22 rebels.

Defense officials said that some 16 bunkers belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were destroyed in the attack in the Mannar district.

The military is said to be moving forward in the Mannar sector with heavy rebel resistance.

The military says the rebels will be evicted from the areas of their control in the north before the end of 2008. Clashes have intensified with ground battles in the north since the government announced its unilateral abrogation of the February 2002 ceasefire on Jan. 16.

More than 70,000 have been killed in the island's long drawn out separatist armed conflict since the mid 1980s.

The LTTE rebels fight the government troops to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community in the island's embattled north and east provinces.

by Du Guodong, Xinhua