Dealing another body blow to the cornered Tamil rebels, Sri Lankan troops on Wednesday captured the last remaining LTTE-held area in Jaffna, establishing total government control over the strategic northern peninsula.
A senior LTTE Sea Tiger leader identified only as 'Thiru' was killed during the battle to takeover the Chundikulam area while troops also captured 100 boats, a number of vehicles, 400 anti-personnel mines and 40 anti-tank mines, military spokesman Uday Nanayakkara said.
"With this, the last land on Jaffna has been liberated from the LTTE," he told PTI. The northern peninsula is strategically located and has long been a prize catch for both the warring sides in the island's decades-old ethnic strife.
"We believe the rebels have suffered heavy casualties but the bodies must have been removed by other LTTE cadres. The Army has suffered no casualty," Nanayakkara said.
The new success for the advancing Lankan troops came five days after they seized the strategic Elephant Pass, the gateway to the Jaffna peninsula. The rebels, who has already lost their de facto capital Kilinochchi, now only controls their coastal stronghold of Mullaittivu.
Sri Lankan troops today advanced further into Mullaittivu, killing seven Tamil Tigers in ground clashes amidst a spate of air attacks by fighter jets in the region, the military said.