Sri Lankan helicopters bomb rebel targets; Army advances

T V Sriram Colombo, Nov 30 (PTI) Sri Lankan troops moved further into LTTE areas destroying bunkers to capture Kilinochchi, the de facto political capital of Tamil Tigers, as Air Force helicopters bombed the rebel targets, officials said today.

Sri Lankan Air Force MI-24 helicopter gunships conducted precision air assaults at identified LTTE resistance positions located at Murukandy East of Akkarayankulama in Kilinochchi this morning.
The air sorties were made in support of the advancing 57 Division infantry battalions, Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said.

In ground clashes, troops deployed in the general area of Nivil in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi monitored LTTE transmissions and confirmed that the Tamil rebels suffered heavy loses due to air raids by fighter jets and helicopters.

In the meantime, troops of 59 Division conducted a search and clear operation in the newly captured Otiyamalai in North-eastern Mullaittivu last afternoon, the army said.

Troops recovered 3000 rounds of T-56 ammunitions and one I-com set during the search.

Meanwhile, the soldiers operating in Kumulamunai area in Mullaittivu had a series of confrontations with the LTTE militants causing heavy casualties on the militants the same day, the army said, adding troops sustained minor injuries.

Three LTTE suspects were taken into custody while 123 others were detained for further inquiries out of 11,963 people screened yesterday during combined Army-Police cordon and search operations conducted in the Eastern Batticaloa district. PTI


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