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Senin, Januari 5

Tamil Tigers 'kill 40' soldiers

A Sri Lankan soldier patrols the Tamil Tiger political capital town of Kilinochchi, some 330 kilometers (202 miles) north of Colombo on January 4, 2009
Sri Lanka has hailed the capture of Kilinochchi as a major victory

Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka say they have killed 40 soldiers in the north of the island where the army is trying to capture rebel strongholds.

A Tiger statement said the soldiers had been killed in fighting on the main road towards the town of Mullaitivu, believed still to be in rebel hands.

Military officers denied that their troops had suffered heavy casualties.

The government announced two days ago that it had captured the de facto rebel capital, Kilinochchi.

Maj Gen Jagath Dias, who commanded the battle for the town of Kilinochchi, said he was confident of capturing the rebels' remaining strongholds in the north and east.

"Day by day, the Tigers' territory is shrinking and their numbers are dwindling," he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

"The objective of finishing this war won't be that long off."

There have been no independent reports from the front line and the claims by each side of inflicting casualties on each other are impossible to verify.

Correspondents say that following its success at Kilinochchi the government has sent reinforcements to the region to try to capture not only Mullaitivu, but also the rebel-held Elephant Pass, further north.

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