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100 LTTE cadres killed, PM says war would be over soon

world Updated: Mar 08, 2009 19:59 IST

More than 100 LTTE cadres were killed in fierce clashes with Sri Lankan security forces in the island’s restive North as Premier Ratnasiri Wickremanayake declared that the war would be over by the beginning of next year.

Mullaittivu battle reached its last phase as LTTE cadres made several desperate attempts in vain to infiltrate the military forward defences, which left over 100 rebels dead and as many injured since Friday dawn, the defence ministry said.

LTTE fighters were preparing for a large scale offensive towards the existing military defences at Palamathalan and North of Puthkkudiyirippu, inducting over 200 cadres including suicide bombers and Sea Tigers, it said.

Following the initial thrust, terrorists had planned to send waves of 100 odd cadres to provide reinforcements. Bahnu, Lowrence, Soosai and few other high profile LTTE rebels were directly involved in masterminding the pre-emptive assault, security sources said.

Meanwhile, Wickremanayake said that the offensive “would end by the new year (2010)”.

“However, I do not think it will take that long. Our forces are on fire. They want to finish it off as soon as possible. This is a war in which both sides are fighting. We cannot set any time as we are also being attacked,” the Prime Minister told an election rally on Saturday.