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SL says jets bomb rebel leader's known hideouts

Sri Lankan jets bombed hideouts of the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday as heavy fighting continued around the self-proclaimed rebel capital.

world Updated: Dec 27, 2008 15:21 IST

Sri Lankan jets bombed hideouts of the leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels on Saturday as heavy fighting continued around the self-proclaimed rebel capital.

Air raids on Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Velupillai Prabhakara's known hideouts in the far north of the island nation came as fighting around the town of Kilinochchi intensified, an air force official said.

Air Force spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said the "targets were taken accurately" but gave no details of casualties or damage.

The LTTE had no immediate comment

Sri Lanka' military has been closing in on Kilinochchi since September, but in the past two weeks has been assaulting heavy defences encircling the town's outskirts. The fighting has seen both sides claiming increasingly higher death tolls.

It is nearly impossible to verify battlefield claims since both the government and the LTTE block independent media access to the war zone, and have repeatedly distorted figures to their advantage.

The LTTE started fighting the government in 1983. It says it is battling for the rights of minority Tamils in the face of mistreatment by successive governments led by the Sinhalese majority since Sri Lanka won independence from Britain in 1948.