Rebel village in Sri Lanka 'seized'

Troops claim major victory amid reports of stiff resistance by Tamil Tiger fighters.

    Government troops have made dramatic progress on the northern fronts in the past months, seizing a series of rebel bases and chunks of land.

    Stiff resistance

    But the rebels have offered stiff resistance as government troops approach the edge of Kilinochchi, 330km north of Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital.

    The government earlier this month said it was poised to capture Kilinochchi.

    That drive, however, could take longer than anticipated with the rebels digging in, analysts and military sources say.

    "Troops operating in the south of Kilinochchi are making progress, though they have not shown a rapid progress within the past few days," Ranil Wijayapala, a defence analyst writing in the state-run Daily News, said.

    "With the rapid advance last month, the military is also forced to tie down a lot of soldiers to protect areas newly captured from the Tigers," a military officer, who declined to be named, said.

    "The Tigers won't be able to hold Kilinochchi for too long, but they can delay the fall."

    The government has vowed to crush the rebels and end their 25-year campaign for a separate homeland for the island's ethnic minority Tamils, who have suffered marginalisation by successive governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

    More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.