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Archive for Saturday, January 10, 2009

Troops capture key rebel base at pass

January 10, 2009

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— Sri Lankan troops on Friday captured Elephant Pass, the Tamil Tigers’ last stronghold on the Jaffna peninsula, seizing control of a base and a symbolic highway, and isolating the retreating rebels in a shrinking slice of northeastern jungle.

The victory at Elephant Pass came exactly a week after the military seized the Tamil Tigers’ administrative capital of Kilinochchi and began racing deep into rebel-held territory. Concerns meanwhile rose about potential civilian casualties.

The capture of Elephant Pass gives the government nearly full control of the northern peninsula — the Tamil’s cultural capital and the symbolic heart of the insurgency — for the first time in nine years. The rebels still control a small sliver of land in the east of the peninsula.

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