Sri Lanka Says Mannar `Rice Bowl' Captured, Rebel Supplies Cut
June 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka said the army cut a main supply route for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam when soldiers captured Mannar's rice-producing area in the latest blow to rebels holding onto their last bases in the north.
``Advancing security forces took control over the entire Mannar `rice bowl' area'' yesterday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement early today. Soldiers captured 120 square kilometers (46 square miles) that ``mainly consists of the island's most fertile paddy fields.''
Soldiers seized 12 kilometers of the main A-32 road in Mannar district, one of the LTTE's main supply routes, the ministry cited Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, a spokesman, as saying. The LTTE hasn't commented on the fighting.
The LTTE lost the eastern region to the army a year ago in its worst defeat in its 25-year fight for a separate Tamil homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east. The military has targeted Tamil Tiger leaders since then, killing the group's political chief, its military intelligence leader and the head of the naval unit, known as the Sea Tigers.
Army units are now ``poised and in striking distance'' of the LTTE's coastal stronghold of Veddithalthivu after capturing a 13-kilometer stretch of the coast in Mannar district, the Defense Ministry said in its statement today.
More...Discuss this story
Published: Sun Jun 29 23:43:01 EDT 2008