81 rebels killed as fighter jets target LTTE stronghold (SRI LANKA)

Colombo, Sept 27 (PTI) -- At least 81 LTTE cadres were killed as Sri Lankan armed forces using fighters and artilleries pounded Tigers' stronghold, with troops reported to be on the outskirts of the key Kilinochchi town.


The fighter jets targeted female 'Black Tigers' training facility at Rathnapuram, Kilinochchi, as well as LTTE logistic centres and vehicles storage areas in a major escalation of the country's ongoing civil strife. The Defence Ministry said that at least 81 Tamil Tigers were killed as jets pounded Black Tiger' training facility in the embattled northern Lanka.

The rise in the heat of the battle comes amidst reports that Sri Lankan forces are within sights of the town, considered to be administrative and military headquarters of the LTTE.

"Sri Lankan Air Force fighter jets have launched a precision air strike at the LTTE's main female 'Black Tiger' training facility located at Rathnapuram, Kilinochchi this afternoon," an official said.

"The target was located 1.5 km East of the A-9 trunk road and North of the Iranamadu Tank," Air Force spokesperson Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said, adding the target was acquired on real-time ground information.According to available information, serious damages were caused to the facility as intense activity was reportedly taking place during the time of the attack. "The site is known to be the main female 'Black Tiger' training and coordinating facility and a most frequented location by LTTE's intelligence wing chief, Pottu Amman, the Defence Ministry quoted military sources as saying.In ground clashes, Lankan troops of the Task Force 1 operating on the western half of the Kilinochchi battlefront, attacked LTTE defences in the Manniyakulam area, 12-km northeast of Nachchikudha yesterday afternoon, the official said. "Intercepted terror radio transmissions revealed that 14 LTTE cadres had been killed and 15 others wounded during the incident," the Ministry said, adding troops suffered no casualties.

While ten LTTE cadres were gunned down in Akkarayankulam in Kilinochchi in various incidents, three others were killed in Kallayamparauv and Pallavarayankaddu area in the region yesterday, the Media Centre for National Security (MCNS) said. In another incident, one Tamil Tiger was fatally shot in Kallayanparauv while another was killed in Vennarikulam last morning, it said.

At least 11 militants were shot dead by troops in Vennarikulam area yesterday, while five others were gunned down in another confrontation in the same area later in the day, the MCNS As many as six Tamil Tiger rebels were killed during a confrontation in Maniyankulam in Kilinochchi yesterday, the military said, adding seven others were gunned down in the same area later in the day. Continuing with their military operations, the security forces killed five LTTE activists in Maniyankulam in another encounter yesterday, the MCNS said.

In north-east Welioya, troops killed 13 rebels in various confrontations in Andankulam yesterday, the military said, In subsequent search operations, troops recovered 346 anti-personnel mines and 18 improvised explosive devices from the area. Separately, security forces killed three LTTE rebels in Andankulam and two others in Ranabapura in Welioya yesterday, the MCNS said.

(c) 2008 Asia Pulse Pty Limited.

Von: 27.09.2008, INDIA (The Press Trust of India Limited)

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