Sri Lankan soldiers of Army 58 Division now engaged in the final phase of the counter terrorist offensive in the Island's Northern province continues to give heavy beating to the terrorists, reveal defence sources in the Puthukkuddyiruppu.

According to the sources, the soldiers continued to battle the terrorists in the hinterlands of Puthukkuddyiruppu yesterday (Mar 13), liberating more territory and pushing the terrorists to their last standoff.

Soldiers collected 18 bodies of LTTE cadres, 17 T-56 riffles, one light machine gun, and two radio communication sets following the clashes erupted yesterday in the Irnapali North, and Kombavil East areas, in Puthukkuddyiruppu. The Army sniper shooters deployed in the forward areas confirmed acquisition of 12 terrorist targets.

Meanwhile, the soldiers rescued 58 civilians under terrorists clutches from the Kombavil East area. Among the civilians, there were several LTTE cadres who identified themselves as the members of Makkal Padai terrorist band, said the sources.

The surrendered LTTE cadres told the soldiers that LTTE leaders are now ready to throw whoever who can grab a hand grenade to the battlefront to save their lives. According their accounts, the bodyguards of senior LTTE leaders daily abduct hundreds of civilians and forcing them to crash military courses with the intension of saving their leaders' lives until the last moment. They added that all the civilians as well as majority of junior LTTE cadres were hoping that the soldiers would rescue them soon before they are being victims of the terrorists.

The latest updates on brutal terrorist attack at the national Milad Festival in Sri Lanka , indicates that 10 civilians were killed and at least 35 others , including a government minister were injured. An LTTE suicide bomber attacked the Jumma mosque at Godapitiya, in Akurassa , in the Matara district around 10.30 , this morning (Mar 10).

According to the defence sources , the LTTE terrorist has targeted the Islam devotees attending the national Milad-Un-Nabi celebration , held at the mosque. The Milad-un-Nabi , the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed is celebrated as a national festival in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile , hospital sources say Minister Mahinda Wijesekara who was also attending the celebration has suffered injuries, in the explosion. The sources add that another 15 people with injuries have been admitted to the government hospital Matara.

The LTTE is a ruthless terrorist outfit fighting for a mono ethnic separate state for Tamils in Sri Lanka since 1983. Lead by its psychopathic chief V. Prabhakaran, the outfit has slaughtered tens of thousands of innocent civilians during its three decades of terror campaign against Sri Lankan citizens.

The LTTE has been engaged in a systematic and brutal ethnic cleansing campaign against Muslims and Sinhalese living in the North and Eastern Provinces in its fanatical attempt create an ethnically pure Tamil State in the Island nation.

Sri Lanka Air Force at all times safeguarded our motherland's unity, dignity and sovereignty in each and every adverse circumstance. And, the heroic forces, unassailable in high skies, undefeatable in the battlefield, and courageous in the task entrusted, totally demolished the much-feared air power of the LTTE terrorists President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.The President was addressing the annual colours awarding ceremony of the Sri Lanka Air Force held at the Trincomalee Air Force Base today (March 7).Thirty Air Force officers from No: 02 Fighter Airborne Squadron, No: 04 Helicopter Squadron, No: 09 Helicopter Squadron, No: 10 Fighter Jet Squadron and Air Force regiment have been awarded colours by the President."The Air Force officers, with an untarnished image and of unblemished characters, have always been flawless in their strategies safeguarding the accolades they earned in air as one of the most civilized and humanitarian forces in the battlefield. In spite of the relentless attacks at the enemy, they never targeted schools, churches, Hindu shrines, hospitals or orphanages. They were always accurate on their target and keen on mission," the President emphasized.Particularly, around the globe, traditional armies failed in their bids to outclass terrorist organizations. But our three service commanders have been different, and they were able to come out of their shell as a traditional army and turn the war into a humanitarian affair to defeat the world's number one terrorist organization, the LTTE. now the LTTE is on its knees, the president said.First Lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Presidential Secretary Lalith Weerathunga, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, Air Force commander Roshan Gunathilaka, other service commanders, servicemen, their parents, spouses and relatives also participated in the event.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Friday (March 6) called on the LTTE to remove its weapons and fighters from areas of civilian concentration to cooperate in all humanitarian efforts calculated to relieve the suffering of civilians and to immediately cease recruitment of children.The statement: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is extremely concerned over the deteriorating situation for civilians trapped in Northern Sri Lanka.He strongly deplores the mounting death toll of civilians in the area of fighting, including a significant number of children.There is an urgent need to bring this conflict to a speedy end without further loss of civilian life.In this respect, the Secretary-General renews his call to the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to suspend hostilities for the purposes of allowing civilians to leave the conflict zone and allowing immediate humanitarian access to them.The Secretary-General calls on the LTTE to remove its weapons and fighters from areas of civilian concentration, to cooperate in all humanitarian efforts calculated to relieve the suffering of civilians and to immediately cease recruitment of children.The Secretary-General strongly urges the Government to begin serious efforts to resolve the underlying causes of conflict, the spokesperson added."