Sri Lanka army makes gains in north

Tamil Tiger defensive line in the Jaffna peninsula overrun, military says.

    The Sri Lankan military says it has taken several key towns from the Tamil Tigers in recent days [AFP]

    Related Articles

    Timeline: Conflict in Sri Lanka

    History of the Tamil Tigers

    There was no immediate comment from the separatists, but most communication with the north of the island has been cut by a major military offensive launched after Colombo pulled out of a Norwegian-brokered truce with the Tamil Tigers in January.

    The Sri Lankan military statement followed a report from the Tigers saying they had forced back a new push into their territory by government forces.

    A website affiliated to the separatists had said on Wednesday that Tamil Tiger fighters had killed 36 soldiers along the defensive line. 

    Breakthrough

    Keheliya Rambukwella, the government spokesman for security and national defence, told Al Jazeera that the military the breakthrough could bring to an end to Tamil Tiger control in Jaffna peninsula.

    "Muhamalai is known as one of the areas that is difficult to penetrate because of the bottleneck situation," he said.

    "I am happy to say that we have moved on to the first defence line of the LTTE effectively and that will certainly help us because we have been held up there for a couple of years.

    The Sri Lankan defence ministry has reported a number of significant gains in recent weeks, including the towns of Mankulam, located just south of the LTTE's major stronghold of Kilinochchi, Kumalamunai, and Poonenyn on the western coast.

    Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the LTTE began an armed struggle in 1972 to set up a separate region for minority Tamils.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    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.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.