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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:12, March 14, 2007
Air strikes on rebels continue in Sri Lanka's east
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The Sri Lankan Air Force continued its raids on Tamil Tiger rebel positions in the eastern Batticaloa district for the second day on Tuesday, said the military.

Defense officials said the Air Force attacked identified LTTE ( Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) targets using Kfir and MIG jet planes in Thoppigala at about 10:30 a.m. (0500 GMT).

"These attacks were launched after clearly identifying the places where terrorists are regrouping to prepare for attacks on the security forces," said the Media Center for National Security in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Army said it handed over seven dead bodies to the LTTE through the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Batticaloa on Tuesday.

These LTTE cadres were killed in confrontations with government troops on a search and clear operation in the district on Sunday.

The military said around 28 LTTE cadres, including two senior leaders and eight junior leaders, were killed in that confrontation.

The government troops have been on the offensive since Thursday in Thoppigala, a main jungle hideout for the rebels.

The latest offensive is the biggest since troops captured the town of Vakarai from the Tigers on Jan. 19 after weeks of heavy fighting.

The government has made clear its intention to clear the entire Eastern Province of Tamil Tiger rebels.

Thoppigala remains the last LTTE bastion in Batticaloa and Ampara districts in Eastern Province.

The ICRC said here on Sunday that it has asked aid and relief agencies for food and water to be made available for around 120, 000 internally displaced civilians in the province.

More than 4,000 people have been killed in escalating fighting since December 2005, even though the two sides continue to say they observe the Norwegian backed truce signed in February 2002.

Source: Xinhua

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