Sri Lanka army 'takes key crossing'

Crucial crossroad wrested from Tamil Tiger control, says Sri Lankan military.

    It is difficult to confirm battle reports and casualty lists as journalists are barred from the war zone [AFP]

    The army said that since Tuesday at least 50 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters had been killed - and twice as many wounded - in heaving fighting.

    Sri Lanka's defence ministry did not say if government forces suffered casualties, although the Associated Press news agency reported that Nanyakkara confirmed four soldiers had died in the fighting.

    Separatist battle

    The Sri Lankan government has pledged to defeat Tamil fighters by the end of 2008 in an attempt to end the 25-year separatist campaign.

    However, government officials made the same promise in 2007 but faced stiff resistance from Tamil fighters.

    A defence ministry statement issued Thursday described the fighting as "fierce and prolonged for hours until the terrorists were completely beaten by the determined soldiers".

    The Tigers made no comment on the military's statements, but said on Wednesday that civilians had been killed in the fighting.

    It is difficult to verify battle accounts and casualties as reporters are barred from the war zone.

    The rebel Tigers have waged a long war for independence for Sri Lanka's minority Tamil community, who have suffered marginalisation by successive governments controlled by the Sinhalese majority.

    Around 70,000 people are thought to have been killed since separatist fighting began in 1972.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The life and death of Salman Rushdie, gentleman author

    The man we call 'Salman Rushdie' today is not the brilliant author of the Satanic Verses, but a Picassoesque imposter.

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The Beirut Spy: Shula Cohen

    The story of Shula Cohen, aka The Pearl, who spied for the Israelis in Lebanon for 14 years.