Sri Lanka troops keep up assault on last Tamil Tiger bases: army

January 5, 2009 (AFP) – Sri Lankan troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships moved against the remaining Tamil Tiger jungle strongholds after taking their political headquarters, the army said on Monday. Soldiers were fanning out from positions in the north of the island and heading towards remaining rebel pockets after seizing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) capital of Kilinochchi on Friday, the army said.

“Troops in high morale after the capture of Kilinochchi town continued their forward march further and attacked LTTE terrorists in areas east of Kilinochchi and caused heavy damages to the terrorists,” the army said in a statement.

On Sunday, troops also captured the town of Oddusuddan, just south-west of Mullaittivu, the last remaining town in the hands of the LTTE.

For their part, the pro-rebel Tamilnet website said Tigers were putting up stiff resistance to the military advance and said they killed 53 soldiers and wounded another 80.

Tamilnet said the Tigers recovered the bodies of two government soldiers. The claims could not be independently verified.

Military officials denied the rebel claims and said security forces recovered the bodies of 12 Tiger r