Sri Lankan troops capture key rebel town: defence ministry

May 9, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan government forces captured Friday a key guerrilla town in the north of the island killing 15 Tamil rebels, the defence ministry said. Two soldiers also died in the fierce fighting as government troops took Adampan town in Mannar district, the ministry said.

There was no immediate comment from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam whose separatist campaign has left tens of thousands dead since 1972.

Friday’s fighting raised the number of rebels killed by government troops since January to 3,488, according to the ministry, which lists 263 soldiers as dead over the same period.

Information from the front line cannot be independently verified since Colombo prevents media and rights groups from visiting the embattled areas.

Fighting has worsened since January when Colombo pulled out of a six-year truce. .