Posts Tagged ‘Army’

Refugee stream from Sri Lanka’s war zone picks up

Friday, January 16th, 2009

[Reuters]

Increasing numbers of refugees are fleeing Sri Lanka’s war zone, which is rapidly shrinking as the military bears down on the Tamil Tiger rebels’ last remaining territory, the military and the Red Cross said on Friday. “Families heading westward in search of safety are encountering other families moving eastward with the same aim,” ICRC’s Sri Lanka delegation head Paul Castella said.There has been no negotiation of safe passage between the army and Tigers in a week, which has put at risk the lives of patients who cannot receive proper treatment in rebel-held areas and need to go to a hospital in army territory, the ICRC said.

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Nearly 800 flee Sri Lanka’s war zone - military

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

[Reuters]

Nearly 800 civilians have fled Sri Lanka’s shrinking war zone in the last day as the army bears down on the last strongholds of separatist Tamil Tigers, the military said on Wednesday. Troops are marching to the port of Mullaittivu across a small wedge of northeastern Sri Lanka still held by the Tigers, where aid groups say about 230,000 people are trapped in an area of no more than 330 square km (127 square miles). “In the last 24 hours, 796 people have come out of the war zone,” military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said.

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Army pressures Tamil Tiger base

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

[BBC]

Heavy fighting is reported around the sole remaining Tamil Tiger stronghold of Mullaitivu in Sri Lanka as the army presses ahead with its offensive. The defence ministry said troops had captured one “administration base” with jets bombing jungle hideouts. Rebel sources have not commented on the claim, but say civilians have been wounded by artillery fire. The army is pressing ahead after capturing the rebel HQ of Kilinochchi and the strategic Elephant Pass.

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Sri Lanka troops take strategic pass from Tiger rebels: army

Monday, January 5th, 2009

[AFP]

Sri Lankan troops battling Tamil rebels on Monday captured a part of the highly strategic Elephant Pass, a causeway linking the northern Jaffna peninsula to the mainland, the military said. Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said the southern part of the causeway fell to government troops advancing northwards from Kilinochchi, the political headquarters of the Tamil Tigers, which was captured by the army on Friday. “Troops are now consolidating in the southern part of Elephant Pass,” he said.

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Bomber targets Sri Lankan capital

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

[BBC]

A suicide bombing in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, has killed at least five members of the paramilitary civil defence force, military officials said. The bomber hit a checkpoint near a market in Wattala, a suburb of Colombo, the officials said. No group has claimed to have carried out the attack, but it follows heavy fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and the army in the north of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan navy says it has sunk a boat carrying supplies to the rebels.

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Tamil Tigers vow to keep fighting

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

[BBC]

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have said they will continue to fight even if they lose their political headquarters town of Kilinochchi. There has been fierce fighting as the army tries to capture Kilinochchi. The head of the rebels’ political wing told the BBC he rejected the government’s offer of talks if the Tigers disarmed first. The Tigers say they killed 75 soldiers in the latest clashes. The army has put its losses at 12 dead and 12 missing. The rival claims cannot be independently verified because journalists are barred from the conflict area.

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Bodies exchanged as fighting continues

Friday, December 19th, 2008

[BBC Sinhala]

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Sri Lanka says it’s handed over to the Sri Lankan army the bodies of twenty-five of their soldiers. Tamil Tiger rebels said the soldiers were killed over the past two days in clashes near the northern town of Kilinochchi. A spokesman for the ICRC said they had also handed over to the Tigers a body of a rebel killed in the fighting.

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Revealed: Tamils’ terrifying plight

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

[Guardian]

Behind a wall of censorship horrendous battles are under way in northern Sri Lanka. The details are unclear since no independent reporters have been allowed access, and both sides — the government army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam — give out bombastic and unverifiable casualty figures. But through the fog of war a dreadful outline emerges. According to international aid agencies about a quarter of a million people have been made homeless by conflict in the area which the Tigers once controlled behind officially agreed ceasefire lines.

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S Lanka’s ‘Somalia conditions’

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

[BBC]

A UN official in a rebel-held area of northern Sri Lanka has said that conditions for displaced people there are “as basic as in Somalia”. John Campbell, from the World Food Programme (WFP), told the BBC Sinhala service that conditions were “as basic as can be” and “much less than ideal”. Mr Campbell was speaking from the rebel-held village of Dharmapuram. The area is close to recent heavy fighting between Tamil Tiger rebels and the Sri Lankan army. Independent journalists are prevented by the government from travelling to war-hit areas of the country - the WFP is one of the few foreign agencies allowed to deliver aid to the area.

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Sri Lanka’s ‘white van syndrome’

Monday, December 1st, 2008

[BBC]

The Sri Lankan government claims to be on the verge of delivering a knockout blow to the Tamil Tigers. But in its pursuit of victory, has the government lost the chance of lasting peace? In 2006, an internationally brokered ceasefire between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) broke down. Since then the government has been determined to win the civil war that began 25 years ago and has cost well over 70,000 lives. On the battlefield, the Sri Lankan army has been remarkably successful. The Tamil Tigers have been pushed out of their traditional strongholds in the Eastern province and are now fighting for survival in the remote north.

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