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163 killed in Lanka-LTTE fighting

In the confrontations since Sept 8, 130 LTTE cadres and 33 armymen have been killed, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 20:11 IST

Sri Lankan ground troops, supported by artillery and aircraft, smashed through the Forward Defence Lines (FDL) of the LTTE on the Kilaly-Muhamalai axis in the Thenmarachchi sector of south Jaffna on Monday.

In the confrontations since September 8, 130 LTTE cadres and 33 army soldiers were killed, the Sri Lankan Army said on Sunday.

Among the 260 wounded were 130 LTTE fighters.

Eleven bodies of LTTE fighters found in the newly-captured FDLs were handed over to the ICRC on Sunday, the army further said.

Sri Lankan media reports said that government troops had gone more than a kilometre into LTTE-held territory across the Kilaly-Muhamalai-Nagarkovil axis.

This axis is vital for the defense or capture of the Elephant Pass base lying further south.

Elephant Pass has been under LTTE occupation since 2000.

Once the Elephant Pass base is captured, Kilinochchi, the headquarters of the LTTE, will come under a severe threat.

The army said that it was the LTTE, which opened the campaign in this sector by firing artillery and mortars on its positions on the Muhamalai-Nagarkovil axis.

To neutralise the intensive firing, the army began to reply in kind on September 8 and move on the ground.

First Published: Sep 11, 2006 20:11 IST