Sri Lankan military: Government forces capture Tamil rebel base
Fri May 30, 2008 05:48 EDT .
BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government troops have captured a Tamil Tiger rebel base in northern Sri Lanka - after three days of fighting that killed seven rebels and one soldier, the military said Friday.
Army troops captured the stronghold known as Munnagam Base on Thursday, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara. He said the base, located four miles north of the front lines in Welioya region, had been used by the guerrillas as an operational center.
He said the three-day battle to seize the base had killed seven rebels and one soldier. Five other soldiers were wounded.
Other fighting Thursday in the Mannar and Vavuniya regions near the rebels' de facto state in the north killed four rebels and wounded eight soldiers, he said.
Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was not possible to independently verify the military's claims because journalists are banned from the northern jungles where much of the fighting takes place. Each side commonly exaggerates its enemy's casualties while playing down its own.
Fighting has escalated in recent months along the war's front lines.
The Tamil Tiger rebels have fought since 1983 to create an independent state for ethnic minority Tamils who have suffered marginalization by successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese. More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict.
Published: Fri May 30 07:59:31 EDT 2008