Lankan troops seize control of LTTE village

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Colombo, Jan 29 (UNI) Sri Lanka today claimed that its troops have taken control over a village held by Tamil Tiger rebels in the north-western Mannar district after fierce fighting.

Army captured Viyattankulam area in Mannar, destroying 16 bunkers and killing 22 terrorists in Pallekuli in Mannar during the confrontation today morning, the military here said.

The troops engaged in clearing operation have recovered five LTTE dead bodies along with few weapons from the area, they added.

Yesterday, at least 28 Tigers and two soldiers were killed in these areas when they were locked in heavy gun-battle.

Meanwhile, the LTTE Peace Secretariat in a statement claimed that 18 civilians, including 11 school children, were killed and 17 more wounded today by the Deep Penetration Unit of the Sri Lanka military at 1430 hrs when the bus they were traveling came under a roadside claymore bomb attack in the rebel-held Mannar district.

However, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara vehemently denied the military hand in the attack. ''We totally deny the LTTE allegation of carrying out an attack on a civilian bus in Madhu area. We do not operate in these areas and the LTTE is in control of these areas,'' he told UNI over the phone.

The government unilaterally abrogated the Norwegian-brokered six-year long truce deal with the rebels, claiming that the rebels were using it to regroup and replenish their armory to wage bloody battle against the government troops.

UNI XC GL RAI2106

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