Sri Lanka says Fall of Kilinochchi is imminent

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Colombo, Nov 26 (UNI) A top Sri Lankan minister today said the government troops were fighting fierce battles with the Tamil Tiger guerillas in the north and the troops could take control of the rebel-heartland of Kilinochchi anytime from now.

''The fall of Kilinochchi, the LTTE stronghold is imminent since the security forces have established their power in the outskirts,'' Sri Lanka's defence spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said at a media briefing here.

The minister's remarks have come as Tamil Tiger chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran is marking his 54th birthday today, a day before his annual Heroes' Week speech.

Minister Rambukwella said the troops capturing the 'vital A-32' lying in the west of Kilinochchi has prevented the LTTE carders movement, in addition to providing the troops a supply route nearly after two decades.

''Mines are being removed now. The benefit, the A-32 route for civilians is immense and the government has allocated 500 million Rupees for the reconstruction of 81-kilometer long road,'' he said.

Speaking at the media briefing, Military spokesman, Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, said the troops have captured Olumadu, located five km north-east of Mankulam in the Mullativu district ''effectively restricting the activities of the LTTE.'' The operations of the security forces are now made easier with the capture of Olumadu area. Earlier, the occupation of the terrorists in this area obstructed the movement of civilians towards cleared areas. Now, this obstacle has been removed,'' he said.


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