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Sri Lankan says war nearly complete

world Updated: Nov 04, 2008 12:49 IST

AFP
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Sri Lanka's decades-old war against Tamil Tiger rebels is close to being completed, the island's army chief was quoted as saying on Tuesday as the military reported further gains in the rebel-held north.

Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said the military had killed thousands of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters in the past two-and-a-half years.

"Over 80 per cent of the war against the LTTE has been completed after regaining 80 per cent of the areas under them and killing over 12,000 of their cadres," the state-run Daily News quoted Fonseka as saying.

Government forces are currently locked in a major offensive against the Tigers to capture the rebel political capital of Kilinochchi, 330 kilometres (206 miles) north of Colombo.

The defence ministry said its forces were overcomings foreign secretary would fly to Myanmar later in the day to try to resolve the row.

"They will discuss the latest situation with Myanmar officials and try to defuse the situation," he said.

The move comes a day after Bangladesh said it would take "all possible measures" to protect its territory, accusing Myanmar of encroaching on its sea-waters to explore gas.

Chowdhury also said he had warned Myanmar's ambassador to Dhaka that "all steps would be taken to protect the sovereignty to international oil companies as part of its efforts to end chronic gas shortages in the once gas-rich country.

Myanmar immediately protested the move.