B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: The Sri Lankan military on Thursday claimed to have captured Iranamadu junction and Paranthan town in Kilinochchi district amid air raids on “identified” Tiger targets.

The Defence Ministry said here troops had “liberated” the Iranamadu junction after weeks of fierce battles on the Kilinochchi battlefront.

“LTTE terrorists put up stiff resistance at the advancing military formations from this vital ground, which is also considered a strategically important terror stronghold along the A-9 trunk road, 6 km South of Kilinochchi.

The Ministry said the LTTE’s defeat at its main garrison township is inevitable with troops advancing on three fronts continued to cripple its last fortifications. The fall of Paranthan marks the dominance of security forces over the township after a decade.

The Ministry said the troops had also cut-off vital access routes towards Paranthan along the A-9 road from North and South killing over 50 Tiger cadre and injuring twice as many during intense battles.

It said the fall of Paranthan would also open a gateway to the LTTE’s remaining defences at Vaddakkachchi, and Puthukkudiyiruppu areas on the A-35 road (Paranthan-Mullathivu and asserted that Muhamalai in the southern peninsular neck would also fall. In a report posted on its website, the LTTE claimed that Murasumoddai in Kilinochchi came under aerial attack for the second day in a row.

It alleged five civilians had been killed while 21 including three children were injured in two aerial attacks on Thursday.

“From the series of attacks, it is clear that the Sri Lankan Government has shed all remaining traces of reservations on bombing and killing civilians. The people in Wanni are fearful that attacks will get worse in frequency and brutality,” the LTTE charged.