Lanka army 'takes Tiger base'

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Colombo, Nov.15 : Sri Lankan soldiers have entered the strategically important Tamil Tiger stronghold of Pooneryn, according to the ministry of defence.

The move follows months of fighting and the BBC quoted officials as saying pitched battles are still taking place in the area.

If the army succeeds in taking control, it will have access to the land route up the north-west coast to Jaffna.

The peninsular has been cut off by territory held by the rebels, who want a separate state for the Tamil people.

The Tamil Tigers have not yet commented on the reports.

Troops entered Pooneryn on Saturday morning, according to the defence ministry.

It said in a statement that solders had crossed marshlands south of the town during the night, and then marched into what was described as the rebels' last bastion on the western coast.

It added that the Tigers were putting up stiff resistance and that pitched battles were still going on in the area.

ANI

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