Thursday, December 18, 2008

Heavy casualties -BBC

Heavy casualties -BBC

The latest air attacks on Tami Tiger positions in the north came a day after both sides claimed that they had killed dozens of fighters.

The Sri Lankan army has mounted a big offensive aimed at capturing the town of Kilinochchi, where the rebels have their administrative headquarters.

Despite the military's sustained onslaught the rebels seem to be offering stiff resistance.

Pro-rebel website, Tamilnet said the rebels had repulsed the army's advance and recovered more than thirty bodies of Sri Lankan troops killed in the recent fighting.

The army said more than a hundred rebels were killed in the fighting and that they had captured sections of trenches that the rebels had built encircling the town of Kilinochchi.

Meanwhile, medical officer Prasad Brighton of the Dharmapuram hospital said that a five month s old infant and another person died while fifteen others were injured from the air attacks carried out in the Wattakachi area in Kilinochchi.

There are no independent accounts of the fighting. Anbarasan Ethirajan from the BBC South Asia desk says that the nature of the battle is fast changing - there are reports of increasing hand-to-hand combat causing heavy casualties on both sides.

Some experts believe that the war has reached a decisive stage and the coming weeks will be crucial.