At last 45 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres were killed and four rebel sea craft destroyed by the Lankan military as they inched closer by land and sea to gain full control of rebel territory on Monday.
At least one Sea Tiger leader was reported killed in battle.
Fierce battle on the high seas off the north-eastern coast of Mullaitivu left at least 27 Tamil Tiger cadres dead as the Sri Lankan navy (SLN) totally destroyed four sea craft belonging to the Sea Tigers. Besides the Mullaitivu coast, the SLN and the Sea Tigers also clashed off the Chalai coast.
On land, troops of the Sri Lankan army advancing north of the Puthukkudiriyippu area of Mullaitivu district recovered 15 dead bodies of LTTE carders along with 20 T-56 weapons and one Multi Purpose Machine Gun, military sources said.
The LTTE is now said to be confined to an area of less than 22 square kilometres in the coastal areas of Mullaitivu.