Sri Lanka troops captures key Tiger rebels held nothern town
The capture of Paranthan on Wednesday from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam came as fighting around Kilinochchi intensified.
Sri Lankan troops took control of the town of Paranthan in THE far north following heavy fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels, the military said on Thursday.
The capture of Paranthan on Wednesday from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) came as fighting around Kilinochchi, the de facto capital of the rebels, intensified. Paranthan controls a key land route to rebel strongholds in northern Jaffna peninsula.
"Troops completely captured Paranthan town, which is a strategic move and will cut off the main supply route to Elephant Pass," said military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, referring to the rebels' front line in the south of Jaffna peninsula.
"This also makes LTTE's fantasy capitol of Eelam Kilinochchi, more vulnerable," Nanayakkara said.
Sri Lanka' military has been closing in on Kilinochchi since September. Over the past month, it has been assaulting the Tigers' defences encircling the town and both sides have claimed to have inflicted ever higher death tolls on the other.
The LTTE had no immediate comment. It is nearly impossible to verify battlefield claims since both the government and the LTTE block independent media access to the war zone, and have repeatedly distorted figures to their advantage.
The LTTE started fighting the government in 1983. It says it is battling for the rights of minority Tamils in the face of mistreatment by successive governments led by the Sinhalese majority since Sri Lanka won independence from Britain in 1948.
Reuters Last Mod: 01 Ocak 2009, 11:59