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Sri Lanka's Military Captures Key Tamil Rebel Stronghold

Sri Lanka's military says troops have captured a key Tamil rebel stronghold in the eastern part of the country.

Officials say troops took control of Kokkadichcholai in the district of Batticaloa, seizing a large haul of arms and ammunition.

Tamil Tiger rebels have not commented on the raid.

It comes just two days after Tamil rebels staged an unexpected aerial attack, dropping bombs from a propeller plane in their first-ever air strike at a military airfield just 30 kilometers northwest of the capital, Colombo. Three people were killed.

The escalating violence prompted a call by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to break the cycle of attacks. He also urged the government and rebels to resume negotiations.

Both sides have ignored a 2002 cease-fire deal. Thousands have died in the renewed fighting.

Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting for more than two decades to carve out a separate homeland in Sri Lanka's north and east.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.