4 Jan 2009

Colombo pushes into Tamil Tiger areas

3:48 pm on 4 January 2009

Sri Lankan forces say they are pressing on with their offensive on the Tamil Tigers rebels, a day after capturing their de facto capital, Kilinochchi.

The defence ministry says troops were moving towards Mullaitivu, another northern town where the rebels are known to have military facilities.

Troops fought their way into Kilinochchi, deep in the north, on Friday in one of the biggest blows for the rebels in years.

Meanwhile a blast has injured three people in Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo.

It comes a day after a suicide bomber killed two people in the city.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) started fighting the government in 1983.

It says it is battling for the rights of ethnic Tamils in the face of mistreatment by successive governments led by the Sinhalese majority since Sri Lanka won independence from Britain in 1948.

More than 70,000 people have been killed since the fighting began.

The Sri Lankan government formally scrapped an increasingly tattered six-year truce brokered by Norway a year ago, saying the rebels were using it as cover to regroup and re-arm.