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* Excluding safe zone LTTE is restricted to one sq km, says Sri Lanka military
Thursday, March 26, 2009, 13:56 GMT, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka government says that the LTTE has now been restricted to an area of one square kilometer excluding the no-fire zone (NFZ) declared by the government.

Speaking at the weekly Defence Ministry press briefing Military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the government forces has to liberate another 21 square kilometers in Mullaitivu, but out of it 20 square kilometers are consisting of safe zone, lagoon and the wetlands.

He said the government forces are currently continuing humanitarian operations more carefully as the LTTE cadres are hiding among the civilians in the safe zone.

Meanwhile government Defence spokesman minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that the LTTE has now set up gun positions in the NFZ as shown by yesterday's LTTE missile attacks from the safe zone on the Sri Lankan Air Force helicopters evacuating military casualties .

According to the Minister, the government has instructed the forces to carry out the operations without any harm to the civilians trapped in uncleared areas.

In the press briefing the government disclosed that a total number of 55,286 civilians have reached the government controlled areas since last November.

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