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Sri Lankan military says all civilians rescued from war zone

THE military in Sri Lanka said today that all civilians trapped in the northern no-fire zone (NFZ) have been rescued by the troops.

Officials from the Ministry of Defense said the troops have rescued all the remaining civilians held hostage by the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the 1.5 sq-km NFZ in the northern Mullaittivu district.

Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said earlier today that the troops have rescued over 50,000 civilians during the last 72 hours.

He said the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran is still inside the NFZ.

The government says its war against the LTTE is coming to a successive conclusion as the rebels have lost almost all of their 15,000 sq km territories in the government's military offensive since the mid-2006.

Claiming discrimination at the hands of the majority Sinhalese-dominated governments, the LTTE began to fight for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east in the mid-1980s, resulting in the killing of more than 70,000 people in one of the world's longest civil wars.


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