Sri Lanka jets hit Tiger positions as ground battles rage: military

December 6, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s airforce staged a series of bombing raids against suspected Tamil Tiger targets as ground troops fought fierce battles on several fronts, the defence ministry said on Saturday. The battle zone is inaccessible to journalists and aid workers, meaning claims and counter-claims are impossible to verify independently. Security forces, waging a massive offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have been facing stiff resistance in their march toward the northern rebel political capital of Kilinochchi, the ministry said.

“Air Force fighter jets launched three air strikes at LTTE strong points located in the west of Paranthan on Friday,” the ministry said, referring to a town just north of Kilinochchi.

Government soldiers further north in the Jaffna peninsula clashed with Tiger rebels at three locations on Friday, the ministry said.

Neither side gave details of casualties.

The latest confrontations came after the authorities claimed securing parts of a key highway running through rebel-held territory in the island’s north.

The LTTE has admitted losing ground to government troops but their leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has vowed to