Air force bombs Tamil rebel headquarters in northern Sri Lanka
Air force fighter jets bombed the Tamil rebel political headquarters and their peace secretariat in northern Sri Lanka on Thursday, as government troops were poised to enter the area, military officials and a pro-rebel website said.
The two buildings, located close to each other in Kilinochchi town, 380 kilometres north of the capital, where the Tamil rebels have been running their administrative activities during the past 10 years, reported dpa.
The air force commander said that the rebel headquarters had been bombed and destroyed.
But the pro-rebel Tamilnet website said the air force had bombed the head office of the political section of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the peace secretariat.
Both buildings have been the venue for talks with visiting foreign delegates including Norwegian envoys involved in Sri Lanka's peace process.
The Sri Lankan government officially withdrew from a Norwegian backed truce on January 16. The truce agreement was signed in February 2002.
Government troops launched their military operations in mid-2006 and have so far captured the rebel-controlled areas in the eastern province, and parts of the northern province.
Rebels are now confined to two of the districts - Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu - and troops have been confronting rebels on at least four fronts. Government troops have reached the outskirts of Kilinochchi town.
Army Commander Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said troops were 3.5 kilometres south of the town.
Almost all civilians have withdrawn from Kilinochchi town and the main hospital and main administrative office have moved towards the coastal town of Mullaitivu.
Some 200,000 people have been displaced by the fresh fighting.
Earlier the government directed all local and foreign staff working for international non-governmental organisations and UN agencies to pull out from the rebel-held areas.
However, the government on Thursday permitted the UN to escort 50 food lorries to the rebel-held areas.