INTERNATIONAL

Mullaitivu suburb bombed: TamilNet



B. Muralidhar Reddy

Influx to Government-held areas continuing: Army

Army confident of evicting LTTE from Vaharai700 tigers holed up in the area

Colombo: TamilNet has alleged that the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) Kfir jets bombed a Mullaitivu suburb between 8.50 and 9.15 a.m. on Friday. A report on the website said that when Vanni observed the funeral of LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham, also on Friday, SLAF bombers targeted a suburb at Puthudiyiruppu in Mullaitivu district.

The military has maintained that it has been targeting only identified locations from where the Tamil Tigers are either launching or preparing for an offensive against the Army.

Reports from the East talked of continued exodus of those internally displaced from the Tiger controlled Vaharai to the Government held areas. According to Government sources, the influx of people is at the rate of 2,000 a day.

``It appears that the LTTE is regulating the inflow of refugees from areas under its control. For several days now, the number of refugees coming has remained at 2,000 every day. Obviously the Tigers are not ready to let all the displaced leave in one go, as that would make its cadres doubly vulnerable,'' senior military officer of the SAF told journalists in an informal interaction.

The SAF is confident of evicting the LTTE from Vaharai, the last of its strongholds in the East, in the next four to five weeks. The military believes that an estimated 700 Tigers are holed up in the area and the presence of a large number of civilians is proving the task of eviction of Tigers difficult.

Alok Prasad, newly appointed High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, presented his credentials to President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday.

Mr. Prasad, who arrived here on December 3, succeeds Nirupama Rao who is now the Indian Ambassador to China.

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