Sri Lankan forces killed at least 73 Tamil Tigers in fierce clashes that further reduced the territory under rebel control as the army offensive against the LTTE entered its last phases in Mullaittivu,the military said on Sunday.
The army moved in from all directions to take the last few LTTE pockets around Mullaittivu even as it captured a weapon production factory of the rebel outfit,it said.
Heavy fighting continued between troops and LTTE in West of Puthukkudiyirippu and East of Ampalavanpokkanai in Mullaittivu since Saturday morning,military sources said.
At least 36 Tiger rebels were killed in the fighting while security forces also confirmed recovering 11 LTTE bodies during subsequent search operations,the defence ministry said. Another 37 LTTE cadres were killed in intense fighting in various areas.
In a separate statement,the defence ministry said LTTE
rebels opened indiscriminate fire and killed at least 21 people
in a predominantly Sinhalese village in eastern Sri Lanka. The massacre took place at Kirimetiya on Saturday.
Meanwhile,media reports suggested LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakarans wife and two children have left Sri Lanka. Intelligence agencies say that Prabhakaran is still in this area,but that his wife Madhivadani,daughter Dwarakarnam and youngest
son Balachnadran have fled the country, the Lakbima News
Prabhakarans eldest son Charles Anthony is still believed to be in Lanka.