The Sri Lankan army (SLA) is using loudspeakers and distributing pamphlets in Tamil to urge civilians trapped in the ‘no-fire zone’ to break out of the LTTE control with the number of Tiger cadre deaths crossing the 550 mark in the last six days.
The SLA had encircled the ‘no-fire zone’ in the north-eastern district of Mullaitivu and the remaining LTTE cadres were now trapped in less than a 20 square kilometre area, Sri Lanka’s top bureaucrat, defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told HT.
Troops at some places were positioned few hundred metres away from the designated zone.
“Announcements are being continuously made informing the civilians about the war situation and asking them to walk across to government-run areas,’’ Rajapaksa, who is President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother, said.
On Wednesday, several loud explosions were heard in the zone soon after the army made announcements directed at the LTTE to release the civilians. The military could not immediately explain the explosions.
Rajapaksa said there were small pockets of resistance around the ‘no-fire zone’, which were still being cleared. It was in these pockets that SLA killed another 73 rebels since Monday.