Bombs rebels in northern Sri Lanka: Military
Air force bombers attacked a gathering of Tamil Tiger rebels who were preparing to fight government troops in northern Sri Lanka, the military said on Saturday.world Updated: Nov 08, 2008 12:14 IST
Air force bombers attacked a gathering of Tamil Tiger rebels who were preparing to fight government troops in northern Sri Lanka, the military said on Saturday. The rebels had assembled in Pooneryn village just south of the Jaffna peninsula when the airstrike took place on Friday night, military spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said. They were likely preparing to be sent as reinforcements in fighting on a northern front, Nanayakkara said.
The attack caused a fire and heavy casualties to the rebel forces, he said without elaborating.
Government forces have been trying to win control of a key road leading to the rebel-held Jaffna peninsula, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka's minority Tamils. The road runs up the South Asian island's west coast to Pooneryn.
Jaffna has been cut off from the rest of the country since 2006 when the government closed the main road to the peninsula, citing security concerns. That road cuts through rebel-held territory. Other soldiers are meanwhile trying to enter Kilinochchi, the rebel headquarters, east of Pooneryn.
The government has vowed to crush the rebels and end their 25-year campaign for an independent state for ethnic Tamils who have faced marginalization from successive governments controlled by majority ethnic Sinhalese.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.