Sri Lanka buries 41 unclaimed Tiger bodies
Sri Lanka's government troops are stepping up their pressure on Tamil Tiger rebels now confined to a small jungle patch in the island's north and in latest development Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday had to bury 41 bodies of suspected Tamil Tiger rebels killed by advancing security forces in the island's north.
Hospital officials in the town of Vavuniya, 260 kilometres (160 miles) north of here, said ongoing fighting made it difficult to transfer the bodies back to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) through the Red Cross.
"The Tigers have not specified a place where the Red Cross can hand over the bodies to them," a hospital official said. "Because we have no storage facilities, we have arranged for the burials after forensic examinations."
Both the military and the Tigers had earlier used the International Committee of the Red Cross to swap their war dead.
The burials came as warplanes bombed and destroyed two LTTE artillery guns, the defence ministry said. It was not clear how many artillery pieces were still left with the Tigers.
The air force had stepped up aerial strikes against the remaining LTTE strong points in the island's north on Tuesday with at least 10 bombing sorties, a ministry spokesman said.
Fighting was also reported around guerrilla-controlled Mullaittivu district.
The LTTE has not commented on the latest fighting, but have admitted losing ground in recent weeks -- including the town of Kilinochchi, which they used as their political base for nearly a decade.