Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan troops capture key positions in north

COLOMBO, Oct 29, 2008 (Xinhua via COMTEX News Network) -- Sri Lankan government troops currently in the forward march in Tamil Tiger rebels' held north had gained two significant gains of territory, defense officials said Wednesday.

Udaya Nanayakkara, the military spokesman said that the troops had captured the lake bund at Akkarayankulam and Jayapuram in the northern Kilinochchi district.

Jayapuram, a key Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) location 7 kms southeast of Nachchikudah along the A32 road, was used by the rebels to attack the advancing government troops, Nanayakkara said.

The complete capture of the Akkarayankulam bund was also significant, Nanayakkara noted in the troops' overall target of claiming the district of Kilinochchi from the LTTE control.

He said a large number of LTTE rebels had died in the military operations.

The troops say they are very much nearer to capturing Kilinochchi, the administrative headquarters of the rebels.

A large civilian population in Kilinochchi have been displaced in the clashes and the government, with the cooperation of international agencies, is now arranging humanitarian supplies for the displaced.

More than 70,000 people have died in the island's long-drawn- out separatist armed conflict.