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Sri Lankan troops capture strategic junction in north

[Xinhua, Tuesday, 17 March 2009 15:59 No Comment]

The Sri Lankan government troops have captured a strategically important junction in the last Tamil Tiger rebels’ stronghold in the north, the state radio announced Tuesday.


The Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) said the Iranapalai junction in the Mullaittivu district was captured by the Army’s 58 division Tuesday morning.


Iranapalai is the operational headquarters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) intelligence chief Pottu Amman, the SLBC added.


Defense officials said the troops reached to the junction following intense fighting took place in the area for the last few days, but they didn’t mention casualties on the two sides.


With the fall of Iranapalai the supply route for the LTTE in Puthukkudiyiruppu has been broken, said the SLBC.


The rebels have now been limited to an area of just 30 sq km, with 22 sq km of the area being the safe zone declared by the government.


The troops say they have neared the end of the three-year campaign aimed at completely crushing the rebels’ military challenge.


The LTTE have been leading an armed separatist campaign since the mid-1980s to carve out a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community based on claims that the Tamil are discriminated at the hands of Sinhalese majority governments.

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