Sri Lanka takes another town in battle for Tiger capital: military

December 1, 2008 (AFP) – Sri Lankan government forces on Monday wrested control over another town from Tamil Tiger rebels in their offensive to capture the political capital of the guerrillas, the defence ministry said. The guerrillas, who began their struggle for a separate Tamil homeland in 1972, are facing the Sri Lankan army’s biggest ever offensive.

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Troops took the town of Kokavil, about 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) south of the Tigers’ political headquarters of Kilinochchi, early on Monday, the ministry said in a statement.

“This is the first time after 28 years that the army has gained full control over this area (of Kokavil),” the statement said.

It gave no details of casualties, but added that fighting for the town began on Sunday morning.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have admitted that their mini-state has shrunk under the ongoing military onslaught but their leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has vowed to fight on.