Sri Lanka Bombs Rebels After Seizing Their HQ

Tamil Tigers now occupy just 620 sq. miles
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 3, 2009 9:02 AM CST

(Newser) – Sri Lankan air force jets and helicopters bombed a series of rebel targets in the north and northeast, the military said, as soldiers pressed deeper into Tamil Tiger territory a day after capturing the insurgents' de facto capital. The fall of Kilinochchi has squeezed ethnic minority Tamils into 620 square miles they still hold in the northeast, dealing a blow to the insurgents’ 25-year campaign to create an independent state, the AP reports.

The rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site said the Tamil Tigers had moved their headquarters before the town fell. A government official said soldiers would press ahead with offensives and would "liberate the whole northern province" with "simultaneous operations" against two rebel strongholds. The government has vowed to crush the rebels and end the civil war this year. Officials had previously promised to end the conflict in 2008.