Sri Lanka says troops push into Tiger territory

October 24, 2008 (AFP) – Security forces pushed deeper into territory held by Tamil Tiger rebels in northern Sri Lanka and captured several strongholds of the guerrillas, the defence ministry said Friday. Government forces are engaged in a major offensive to capture the town of Kilinochchi which has served as the political headquarters of the Tamil Tigers for over 10 years.

“Troops made further headway towards LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) hiding areas in the south and the south-western areas of the Kilinochchi district,” the ministry said in a statement.

It gave no details of casualties and said the authorities had decided not release figures of those killed and wounded in the latest round of fighting.

“This is in consideration of the continuing advance of the security forces there (in Kilinochchi district) and the need for operational security, whereby such reportage (of casualties) may impede the successful accomplishment of the mission,” the ministry said.

Earlier this week, the military reported that security forces lost 36 soldiers killed and another 48 wounded in the worst single loss for security forces in the past six months.

The ministry did not say how