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Sri Lankan PM: Rebel Territory May Fall Soon

  • VOA News

Sri Lankan officials say the military is on the verge of a major victory against Tamil Tiger rebels in the country's north.

Sri Lankan media on Wednesday quote Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake as saying government troops will pursue a major offensive in an effort to seize control of the rebels' administrative capital in the town of Kilinochchi. He says the troops could be successful in capturing the town by next week.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels on the military claims.

Sri Lankan forces continue to push further into rebel-held territory in the north.

The military says at least 25 rebels and three soldiers were killed in the most recent fighting on Tuesday.

The casualty figures could not be independently verified because reporters are barred from the war zone.

The rebels have been fighting since 1983 to establish an independent homeland for Sri Lanka's Tamil community. Tamils are an ethnic minority in Sri Lanka, and many say the Sinhalese majority discriminate against them.

More than 70-thousand people have been killed in the violence.

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