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Army 800 mts from top Tiger

Colombo, May 7: The Sri Lankan forces on Thursday fought their way to just 800 metres from the area where an estimated 10,000-15,000 Tamil civilians are trapped along with the top LTTE leadership, capturing a Tiger fortification and killing a number of rebels.

Government troops pushed into the rebel-held village of Karayamulli-avaikkal, advancing over areas heavily mined by the Tigers and fighting off attacks from suicide bombers.

A military spokesman said the troops had breached the last earthen fortification, bringing them to 800 metres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leadership.

Though estimates are not available, military sources say that between 500 to 1,000 hardcore Black Tigers have formed a last wall of defence around Tiger supremo V. Prabhakaran and others.

The spokesman said the Tigers are deploying suicide bombers in large numbers to slow down the Sri Lankan advance. —PTI

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