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Army claims Murasumoddai

[Hindu, Wednesday, 7 January 2009 21:32 No Comment]

The Sri Lankan military on Wednesday claimed to have captured Murasumoddai town on the way to Mullathivu amid stiff resistance from LTTE cadre.

 

A statement from the Defence Ministry said here that troops continued their offensive march further eastwards after capturing Paranthan and entered Murasumoddai township despite stiff resistance from the LTTE.

 

“Gaining control over the Murasumoddai junction, located along the Paranthan-Mullathivu main road, 5 km east of Paranthan, would be strategically vital for the troops as it creates new escaping routes for the Tamil civilians under LTTE hold,” the statement said.

 

The Ministry said that the Murasumoddai junction had direct access routes to Kilinochchi, Vaddakachchi and Uriyan. Many civilians from Murasumoddai and its surrounding areas had reached the security forces “escaping LTTE’s grip,” it added.

 

Separately, Sri Lanka Air Force gun ships are claimed to have raided LTTE fronts in Mullathivu. An Air Force spokesperson said that an LTTE gathering place was observed four km south of Mullathivu.

 

The military further alleged that LTTE had threatened civilians in areas still held by it with death as traitors if any attempt was made to flee.

 

“To prove they are serious of this threat they have displayed bodies of three civilians near the Ponnambalam hospital. The bodies were hanged on posts that had banners which read ‘fate of traitors,’” it quoted fleeing civilians as saying.

 

In a report posted on its web site, the LTTE quoted Mullathivu Government Agent (GA) Imelda Sukumar as expressing concern about the shelling in the Mullathivu town and the closure of the route to Vavuniya.

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