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More LTTE strongholds captured: Lanka
Published on 29 Apr. 2009 1:27 AM IST
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Troops forcing their way deep into the last Tamil Tiger stronghold in the northeastern Mullaitivu district have captured “two heavily fortified defence positions” after launching pre-dawn attacks, defence ministry said Tuesday. “58 and 53 Division infantrymen have gained total control over two LTTE-built earth-bunds located south and southwest of Valayarmadam. 58 Division troops advanced southwards from Valayarmadam and gained control over a 600 metre-long LTTE-built earth-bund, running across the coast from west to east,” it said. The fresh military gains have come a day after the government ordered its troops “to stop using heavy guns, aerial weapons and combat aircraft” in its future operations in the north to ensure the safety of civilians. The government said this decision was an exhibit “of its grave concern to avoid any form of collateral damage while surging into the remaining 10 sq km swathe of coast, south of Valayarmadam and Vellamullivaikkal” in Mullaitivu district. The government made it clear that the decision was not a reaction to any “international pressure but solely timed with the success of the ongoing “world’s largest hostage rescue operation” to release thousands of civilians held hostage by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The defence ministry said LTTE guerrilas “have put up heavy resistance to stall the two frontal military advances before fleeing further south, towards Mullivaikkal”.

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