Article: "Sri Lankan air strikes hit retreating rebels: govt"
Source: Agence-France Presse
Excerpt(s): COLOMBO (AFP) - - Sri Lanka's military on Sunday launched air attacks against the last remaining jungle hideouts of Tamil Tiger rebels after driving them out of their main strongholds, officials said. Helicopter gunships supported ground troops advancing deeper into the Mullaittivu region, where the retreating Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forces are holed up, a military official said. The defense ministry has said the security forces are ready to deal a "decisive blow" to the rebels after the capture of the strategic Elephant Pass on Friday. Losing control of the causeway was the latest in a series of defeats for the Tamil Tigers, who have been fighting since 1972 for a separate homeland... It added that troops had recovered the bodies of 11 rebels killed in recent battles in Mullaittivu after soldiers captured an abandoned Tiger camp. Casualty reports from the conflict can not be independently verified but government officials said security forces had met with sporadic resistance since Kilinochchi fell after months of heavy fighting. The LTTE, which has not commented on the latest military claims, accused troops of directing artillery fire towards an internally displaced camp inside rebel-held Mullaittivu on Friday, killing one man and injuring four others. Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse said in a New Year's address that 2009 would be the year of "heroic victory" over the Tigers.
Link to Full Story: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/afp/20090111/twl-srilanka-unrest-4bdc673.html
Picture from Agence-France Presse, originally captioned: This handout picture released on January 10 shows Sri Lankan army troops at the entrance to the Jaffna Peninsula following the capture of Elephant Pass. Sri Lanka's military on Sunday launched air attacks against the last remaining jungle hideouts of Tamil Tiger rebels after driving them out of their main strongholds, officials said.