Monday, February 23, 2009

Only 70,000 civilians are remaining in LTTE grasp, says Sri Lanka Army

Feb 22, Colombo: The number of civilians remaining in the clutches of the LTTE is only 70,000, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

Speaking to the media Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said nearly 35,800 civilians have left the conflict areas in Mullaitivu and arrived at Vavuniya since January 1st this year.

According to the military spokesman some others have arrived at Jaffna by boats.

Brigadier Nanayakkara said there are only 78 square kilometers liberated from the LTTE including an area of 22 square kilometers reserved as a 'safety zone' for civilians.

He said only three platoons, 53rd Division, 58th Division and the Task Force - 4 of the Sri Lanka Army are conducting operations close to the Puthukkudyiruppu junction as they need to liberate only a very limited area.