COLOMBO, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's government troops having cornered the Tamil Tigers to a small patch of territory in the north have destroyed a long range artillery gun of the rebels, the military said Tuesday.
Military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said that the 130 mm gun belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels was destroyed by Air Force bombers at 10:30 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) Tuesday in north of Puthukkudiyiruppu in the northern Mullaittivu district.
"The Army's 53 and 58 divisions were targeted by the LTTE by firing at them from the no fire zone. Having observed the gun, action was taken to destroy it," Nanayakkara said.
He didn't mention if any civilian was killed in the bombing.
Aid agencies say large number of civilians are still being trapped in the government declared no fire zone and call on both the warring parties to refrain from attacking civilians.
The government said nearly 60,000 civilians have fled to the government controlled areas and the government is providing food to the civilians still trapped behind the rebels' defense line.
The military say the LTTE's over two-decade-old armed struggle to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community is nearing its end as the organization is confined to an area of just 21 sq km in Mullaittivu down from over 15,000 sq km they held when the current military offensive began in 2006.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the mid-1980s in one of the world's longest civil wars.