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Troops capture rebel training camp

world Updated: Nov 22, 2008 13:49 IST
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Sri Lankan soldiers captured a Tamil Tiger rebel training camp, while air force helicopters bombed two rebel groups in the north, the military said on Saturday. Troops seized the training camp in Andankulam village in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu on Friday, the military said in a statement.

Military helicopters also bombed two rebel groups in Kilinochchi district on the same day, the statement said without giving casualty details.

Separately, the decomposed bodies of three rebels were found after recent fierce fighting along the northern Jaffna and Kilinochchi fronts, the military said. It was not clear when they died, it said.

It was not possible to contact rebel officials for comment because most communication lines to the north have been cut. Independent verification of the battlefield accounts is not possible because most reporters are banned from the war zone. According to military reports, Sri Lankan troops have made rapid progress on the battlefield in recent months, clearing the island's entire west of rebels and forcing them to retreat into a shrinking territory in the northeast.

Authorities have vowed to crush the guerrillas and end their decades-old separatist campaign. The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who have suffered marginalization by successive governments controlled by ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.