Sri Lankan troops on outskirts of Tamil Tiger HQ: army chief

COLOMBO, September 25, 2008 (AFP) - Sri Lankan government forces have advanced to the outskirts of the northern Tamil Tiger rebel capital of Kilinochchi, the army chief announced Thursday.

The government, which pulled out of a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire in January, wants to capture the town and deal what would be a major military and psychological blow to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels.

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"Our forces are around four kilometres (2.

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5 miles) from Kilinochchi town.
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In fact we can see some of the buildings," Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said.

He also said the leader of the LTTE, Velupillai Prabhakaran, was "now a caged animal.

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"Our military campaign won't stop until we liberate our motherland from the LTTE," Fonseka added.

Kilinochchi, the political capital of the LTTE's northern mini-state, is where the rebels have hosted visiting foreign dignitaries and peace brokers. They maintain their police headquarters, courts and own bank there.

Fonseka, who was speaking at a book launch in the capital Colombo, did not say when he expected the town to fall. But he suggested a fresh offensive would begin in the coming days.

"We will fire the f

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