Sri Lankan troops overrun LTTE stronghold of Mankulam

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Colombo, Nov 17 (UNI) Sri Lankan troops, carrying out a fierce military onslaught against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeleam (LTTE) in the Island's northern Wanni region, today captured a rebel stronghold of Mankulam, located on the Jaffna-Kandy A-9 main supply route, the Defence Ministry said.

''Troops of the task Force-3, flanked west of the A-9 main road at Vannivilankulam, entered the Mankulam area in Mullaitivu, following hours of heavy fighting with the LTTE today at around 2 pm (local time),'' the Defence Ministry said in a report.

The fresh capture of the LTTE strong-hold was barely 48 hours after the troops, advancing along the island's northwestern coastal belt, recaptured Pooneryn, the LTTE's last naval landing point on the west.

''Earlier, forward domination elements of the TF-3, yesterday, had surrounded the area engaging the LTTE positions with indirect fire. Troops also had to cut-off a stretch of the Mankulama- Oddusudan main road,'' the Ministry said, quoting military sources in the battlefront.

Military analysts here said the capture of Mankulam by the troops would exert immense military pressure on the LTTE, who were fighting the troops trying to capture their major politico-administrative stronghold of Kilinochchi.

There was no reaction from the LTTE immediately.


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