Senior SLA officer wounded
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 04 March 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Col. Jagath Jayasuriya, one of the most experienced commanding officers of the SLA's fighting brigades currently involved in Operation Jayasikurui, the ten month long offensive to wrest control of the A9 highway to the Jaffna peninsula, was critically injured in a land mine blast in the general area of Olumadu this afternoon, said army sources in Vavuniya.
Two soldiers travelling with him were killed on the spot and two others were wounded.
The Land rover in which they were travelling was ripped apart by the mine blast. The officer and the other wounded soldiers were airlifted to Anuradhapura for treatment today.
The condition of Col. Jagath Jayasuriya is said to be serious. He is the commanding officer of the 56-3 brigade.
Colonel Jagath Jayasuriya served as the commanding officer of the SLA armoured Corps' First Reconnaissance Regiment in 1994.
Military sources in Vavuniya said that they are concerned that the LTTE has been able to infiltrate the very strong defences of the army in the general area of Olumadu, three kilometers west of Mankulam.
The SLA has been fighting bitter battles since last week to push its way into the strategic Mankulam town.
The main thrusts of the SLA towards Mankulam are from the west and east. The Liberation Tigers are putting up stiff resistance say SLA sources.