Sri Lankan Army Captures Strategic Town

Sri Lankan Army on Monday captured Vannerikulam town and encircled Nachchikudha, the main sea Tiger base, after fierce fighting which left 33 soldiers dead.

Another task force of the army got close to the biggest sea Tiger base in which 11 LTTE were killed, defense ministry said.

Apparently, stepping up their attack strategy to capture LTTE headquarters, government troops overnight and this morning launched a fierce offensive to capture the Vannerikulam town for which the Tigers had put up a stiff resistance.

The new offensive brought the army a step closer to capturing the militants' de facto capital of Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka, the military said.

"During these clashes on the weekend, 33 soldiers were reported killed in action, 48 injured and 3 others were reported missing," defense ministry officials said in a statement.

But a pro-rebel website claimed that Tigers had allowed troops to advance to trap them under heavy fire.

Meanwhile, troops carried out their offensives in the general areas of the Vannerikkulam, Chinnakkonailai, Manniyakulam and Kunachakulam during the day and 12 soldiers sustained injuries during the operations due to mine explosions and LTTE mortar fire.

On the Vavuniya front, troops attacked group of LTTE cadres located in the Nallikulam, Palamoddai and Puttur areas during the daytime.

Troops confirmed heavy damages to the LTTE fighters.