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Sri Lanka says it seized rebels’ operation center

[AP, Thursday, 22 January 2009 07:50 No Comment]

Sri Lankan forces pushing toward the Tamil Tigers’ last stronghold in the north captured what appeared to be the rebels’ main operations center, the military said Thursday.

 

It was not immediately clear what impact the capture would have on the civil war. Military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said the rebels almost certainly have set up a new command center inside their shrinking stronghold in the northeast.

 

In recent months, the army has pushed the rebels out of much of the territory they once controlled in the north, capturing the group’s administrative capital of Kilinochchi and a key stronghold at Elephant Pass.

On Wednesday, soldiers overran a building in the Mullaittivu district they believe was used as the Tamil Tigers’ main command center, Nanayakkara said.

 

The building, which included underground bunkers and an auditorium, was filled with detailed maps showing the military’s deployments across the north and east as well as rebel positions, he said.

Most of the equipment had been removed from the building and the rebels must have set up a new center before the army moved in, Nanayakkara said.

 

Tamil Tiger spokesmen were not available for comment.

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