Sri Lanka says 11 rebels killed in battle

February 26, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops have killed at least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels in the battle for the last urban area still in the hands of the guerrillas, the defence ministry said Thursday. The deaths occurred Wednesday when soldiers pushed toward Puthukkudiriruppu, a town on a narrow strip of land in the northeast controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the ministry said.

“Ground troops have positioned for a final thrust towards the remaining LTTE foothold,” the ministry said.

It did not say if security forces suffered any casualties.

The LTTE did not comment on the fighting.

Government forces have pushed the guerrillas into a narrow bit of land and have said they hope to completely crush the guerrillas by April.