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'Jets pound LTTE camp in Mullaitivu'

Sri Lankan Air Force jets bombed "a transit camp" of Tamil Tigers in the northeastern Mullaitivu district, where ground troops were fighting fierce battles with the rebels tying to defend their last bastions, defence authorities in Colombo said.

world Updated: Jan 21, 2009 20:57 IST

Sri Lankan Air Force jets on Wednesday bombed "a transit camp" of Tamil Tigers in the northeastern Mullaitivu district, where ground troops were fighting fierce battles with the rebels tying to defend their last bastions, defence authorities in Colombo said.

The Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said the jets bombed "an LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) transit camp located at Piramanathankulam area" in Mullaitivu around 4.45 pm.

It said that Russian-built MI-24 gunship helicopters also carried out air raids targeting "an LTTE reinforcement point" located one kilometre southeast of Vishwamadhu area in Kilinochchi district.

"The air strikes were launched in support of the Task Force III troops," the MCNS said.

The military said that the troops of the army's 59 Division and Task Force-IV made further advances and attacked LTTE positions in the areas east of Puthukkudiyiruppu and northeast and southeast of Mulliyawalai in Mullaitivu causing heavy damages to the rebels throughout on Tuesday.

"Several soldiers also sustained injuries due to enemy small-arms fire during those attacks," the military said, adding the troops have recovered a few military materials including two T-56 weapons, one modified weapon and the bodies of two rebels during the subsequent search.

The army has declared a "safe zone" within areas yet to be liberated for the civilians trapped in the rebel-held areas in the north. The military safe zone is located north of the A-35 Puthukudiyiruppu-Paranthan road in Mullaitivu.

"The army assuring safety and protection for those civilians in the rest of un-cleared areas requests them to proceed to this safe zone as soon as possible," the army headquarters said in a statement on Wednesday.