September 4, 2006

Rebel-held Sampur falls to Sri Lanka military

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military has taken control
of the northeastern area of Sampur from Tiger rebels after days
of fighting to secure the southern lip of strategic Trincomalee
harbour, a military official said on Monday.

The fall comes after days of fierce artillery battles
between the foes for control of the area, from which the rebels
had been able to shell a major naval base and disrupt a
maritime supply route to government-held Jaffna peninsula to
the north.

"Sampur has fallen. We have moved in and are consolidating
the area," said a military official on condition of anonymity.
"There is not much resistance, not much fighting."

The Tigers had no immediate comment.

By Sunday, at least 14 soldiers had been killed and 92
wounded since the Sampur offensive began a week earlier. The
army estimates about 120 rebels were killed there by the

There were no details of any new casualties during Monday's