Sri Lankan government announces first significant gain into rebel-held territory

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Monday, September 4, 2006

Sri Lankan government troops are claiming their first significant victory since the peace accord went into effect four years ago, capturing the rebel-held enclave of Sempur in the country's embattled east.

"We captured the main Sampur artillery position of the Tigers, We suspect they dismantled the guns or pulled them back. We are now in Sampur." said Keheliya Rambukwella. Rambukwella noted that the government's troops received little or no resistance as they took the 10-km swath of land.

Overnight shelling and mortar attacks from the Tamil Tigers, the main rebel group involved in the fighting, killed one government soldier and injured several others. The objective of the incursion, said Rambukwella, was to neutralize the use of three Tamil Tiger guns aimed on government troops to the south. Tamil Tigers are claiming that they have not fled the area, and are continuing to engage government troops.

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