Battle-scarred houses, empty schools, a soundless communication facility and a three-storeyed luxury villa apparently belonging to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief V Prabhakaran — fading signatures that Sri Lankan soldiers found of the parallel government run by the rebels from Kilinochchi for a decade.
In the last 24 hours, LTTE cadre were fleeing the deserted town, retreating east towards the thick jungles of Mullaitivu.
But a blast in Pettah, Colombo’s commercial centre, on Saturday left residents wary of retaliatory attacks. The blast left two seriously injured.
Before leaving, the rebels planted mines beneath the empty streets. “Soldiers are using restricted routes, which were cleared of mines,” military spokesperson Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.
The Sri Lankan air force carried out strikes at LTTE’s main sea base in Mullaitivu lagoon on Saturday.