Article published on the 2009-01-27 Latest update 2009-01-28 10:14 TU
The United Nations has warned that dozens of civilians have been killed in heavy fighting between Sri Lankan government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the country. On Sunday troops stormed into Mullaittivu, the last rebel stronghold after a month of intense fighting. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed deep concern over the fate of the civilians caught up in the fighting.
There has been no confirmation of the death toll from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but the pro-rebel Tamilnet website claimed more than 300 people died in the fighting.
Today, the US has joined others in expressing concern for an estimated 230,000 internally displaced people in the 'safety zone', a demilitarised zone declared by the military.
Fighting is said to be still going on near Mullaittivu which is the last territory held by the LTTE.
After retaking the rebels' main city of Kilinochchi earlier this month, the army has continued to advance in territory that the rebels have held for more than ten years.
Correspondent Amal Jayasinghe believes the rebels may now use different tactics in their fight for an independent homeland.
"The Tigers don't have the numbers to fight the military and regain the lost territory so they will probably fall back into the jungle and carry out guerrilla attacks," he says.
"But their foreign funding networks are still in place and they will be able to use them to continue their fight in the medium to long term."
The LTTE started fighting in the 1970s for a separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka's north and east.
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