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4073 LTTE cadres killed in ongoing battle

By T V Sriram in Iranamadu
Last updated on: January 06, 2009 17:27 IST
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Sri Lankan troops are in full control of the airstrip from where Tamil Tigers launched many a surprise air raids deep into government controlled areas, including the capital Colombo.

Nothing is known about the fate of the outfit's air force.

The Sri Lankan army liberated the sensitive Iranamadu, known for LTTE airstrips, located a few kilometers away from its defacto capital Kilinochchi. But apparently the Tigers had moved their Czech made fighters.

The government forces are also within striking distance of two more Air Tiger air strips located just outside the LTTE's last bastion of Mullaittivu and hope to obliterate the Tiger's fledgling air force.

A select team of media persons were taken around the run down Iranamadu town, where grenade shells and some material left by the retreating LTTE fighters were found.

"As per our estimates as many as 4073 LTTE fighters have been killed in the past 14 months, while the LTTE intercepts admit they have lost 3447 cadres with injuries to another 2197 of their fighters", Major Gen NAJC Dias, the General Officer Commanding of the 57 division told reporters.

LTTE created a sensation when it sent its aircraft in May to bomb Colombo. The planes took off from the Iranamadu air strip. One was reportedly shot down by the Sri Lankan security forces.

Defence officials said the capture of Iranamadu will definitely deal a blow to LTTE's air power aspirations.

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T V Sriram in Iranamadu
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