Sri Lanka: Military seizes key rebel-held town

Sri Lankan soldiers captured a key town on the main highway to the headquarters of the country's Tamil rebels, 18 years after the insurgents seized the area by overrunning an army camp, the military said Monday. Troops seized Kokavil town, some 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of the insurgents' de facto capital of Kilinochchi on Sunday, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. He did not give casualty details. The capture was the latest sign of the government's current dominance in the island's decades-old civil war. The rebels have been forced to abandoned vast areas of land while retreating to territory in the northeast during months of heavy battles. Tamil Tiger rebels have controlled Kokavil since they overran a military camp there in 1990, Nanayakkara said.