March 28, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops Wednesday captured a key Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold in the island’s embattled eastern region, the military said. Troops took control of Kokkadichcholai in the district of Batticaloa and seized a large haul of arms, ammunition and land mines from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) base, the army said in a statement.
“Marking one more milestone in the army’s forward march to secure the besieged eastern areas from LTTE clutches, valiant troops this morning completely brought Kokkadichcholai under their control,” the statement said.
It gave no details of casualties.
The statement came a day after Tamil Tiger rebels drove a tractor-trailer loaded with explosives to an army camp in the same district, killing eight people.
On Monday, Tigers flew single-engined planes over the main military air base adjacent to Sri Lanka’s only international airport and dropped bombs, killing three airmen, in the group’s first ever air raid. More than 60,000 people have been killed in Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist campaign since 1972. The two sides agreed to a truce in February 2002, but subsequent peace talks have br