|Sri Lanka says troops seize rebel command centre|
|Thursday, 22 January 2009|
COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops have seized a Tamil Tiger command centre in the island's north as ground troops advance further into the rebels' remaining territory, a military official said on Thursday.
Security forces found briefing rooms containing detailed maps at the facility in the district of Mullaittivu, where the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have been penned in after a series of battlefield defeats.
"We have captured the main LTTE command centre in Dharmapuram," army spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said, adding that troops were conducting clearance operations in the area.
He said soldiers also found a communications room within the complex, but the guerrillas had dismantled the equipment and removed it as troops moved in on Wednesday.
"We think it is a very significant place because they had maps of our brigade-level camps," Nanayakkara said. "This must have been a key centre they used."
The Tiger rebels have been waging a drawn-out fight for independence for the island's minority Tamils since 1972.
However, they have been steadily losing ground since 2007 and have now been confined to the jungle and lagoon district of Mullaittivu where they are known to have several military bases.
Sri Lanka's army has said it hopes to crush remaining rebel resistance by April after months of fighting that have been among the most violent of the bitter ethnic conflict.
The defence ministry also said helicopter gunships had attacked a suspected camp of the Tiger rebels at Visuamadu, near where the Tigers are have their last known airfield.
Troops have already taken six airfields used by the Tigers to launch their light aircraft on missions that have hit military and civilian targets across the country.
The last Tiger air attack was in September when they bombed a military base in the north of the island.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 14 August 2009 )|
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