KILINOCHCHI, Sri Lanka, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Sri Lankan government forces Saturday continued a military campaign against rebels a day after capturing their de facto capital of Kilinochchi, officials said.
Capitalizing on a moral victory against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels with the taking of the northern city, Sri Lankan defense ministry troops moved towards Mullaitivu, another city where LTTE rebels are known to have military facilities, the BBC reported.
A statement from the defense ministry said the battle for Mullaitivu had already begun, one day after the rebels were dealt a significant blow with the loss of Kilinochchi, which is of great symbolic importance to Tigers. They had assembled a separate, shadow government in the city, analysts said.
"We should pay the gratitude of the whole nation to those heroic soldiers who achieved that victory," Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in a nationally televised address announcing the capture of Kilinochchi, urging the LTTE to lay down its arms.