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LTTE restricted to 4.5 sq km area: SL army

May 03, 2009 16:02 IST

With the beleaguered Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam confined to a small area of 4.5 sq kms, Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka has said the troops are consolidating their positions despite heavy attacks from remnant rebel cadres in the north, where at least 21 guerrillas were killed in intense clashes.

The security forces are marching forward despite heavy attacks by the LTTE, Fonseka said, adding the Tiger rebels can do nothing as the troops are consolidating their positions in the remaining area.

The troops have also undertaken a block-up built by the LTTE rebels, he said on Saturday at a function held at the Singha Regiment Headquarters in Abeypussa, over 50 km east of Colombo.

He said the two brigades of the army are now jointly launching the operations against the Tamil Tigers, who are now restricted to an area of 4.5 sq km.

Meanwhile, an exchange of gunfire took place between the Special Task Force troops and a group of LTTE fighters, whose hiding place in the Kanchikudiaru jungle in eastern Ampara district was encircled by security forces following a tip-off.

Four LTTE cadres were killed during the incident while some others withdrew to the jungle's deep. Troops subsequently conducted a search operation in the area and recovered a huge cache of military material.

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