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War almost over: Lankan army chief

world Updated: Nov 05, 2008 00:05 IST
TV Sriram
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Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka has claimed that the decades-old war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the restive north is nearly completed and about 12,000 Tamil Tiger rebels have been killed during the past-two-and-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,” Lt Gen Fonseka said.

Lt Gen Fonseka’s remarks came as the troops reached about seven km south of Kilali lagoon which separates the Jaffna peninsula from the mainland.

“At the inception of the war they did not have a 12,000 strength but we are confident that 12,000 of their cadres were killed during the past-two-and half years as they recruited a large number of cadres to the outfit to strengthen their depleting ranks,” Fonseka said after participating in a ceremony at the Buddhist city of Anuradhapura.

“We are sure that we will be able to see an end to this war soon though we cannot give deadlines to reach this task,” he said.

He also said that he is confident that he can complete the task of defeating the LTTE during his tenure.

“With these gains, we will soon be able to open a land route to Jaffna,” he said.

The rebels captured by the troops within the past few weeks very clearly indicate that they are deploying their police, political cadres and intelligence cadres to confront the advancing troops, Fonseka said.