''Troops of Army Task Force 1 have entered the LTTE bastion at Ponneryn this morning scoring the greatest feat against terrorists in their courageous march along the northwestern coast of the island,'' the Defence Ministry said today. It said that the infantrymen attached to the elite 12th Gemunu Watch and 10th Gajaba Regiment have successfully negotiated the great marshlands south of Pooneryn last night, and cut off the Pooneryn-Paranthan road (B-69) close to Nallur before dawn today.
According to the Defence Ministry report, the troops then marched about 10 km along the B-69 road and entered into the Pooneryn town, where the LTTE has its last bastion on the western coast.
''According to the defence sources at the field, terrorists have given a stiff resistance to the advancing troops. Pitched battles are still going in the area. The terrorists are fast withdrawing towards the K-Point,'' it said.
Meanwhile, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an address through the national television, urged the LTTE to surrender their arms and enter dialogue with his coalition government to find an end to the prolonged ethnic strife.
The LTTE is yet to comment on the latest development.