Sri Lanka moves to flush out Tigers from Jaffna peninsula

January 6, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops were battling Tuesday to flush out Tamil Tigers from the Jaffna peninsula after taking the rebels’ political headquarters in the northern mainland, the military said. Security forces were pushing into remaining rebel-held territory in the Jaffna area after taking a part of the Elephant Pass, a causeway linking the peninsula with the rest of the mainland, the defence ministry said.

“Security forces are determined to flush out the remaining LTTE fortifications in the Elephant Pass, Kilaly, Muhamalai and Nagarkovil areas,” the ministry said, referring to the Tiger positions on the peninsula.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had held Elephant Pass since April 2000.

There was no immediate comment from the Tigers, who have seen their northern fiefdom crumble in the face of a massive government onslaught.

Military officials said government troops from the south of the peninsula were set to link up with government forces in the northern part of Jaffna, who have for years been cut off from the rest of the island by the LTTE.

The advance also further isolates Tamil Tiger rebels in a section of northeastern coastal jungle around Mullai