LTTE-SLA clash in Valaichenai
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 01 April 1998, 23:59 GMT]
One soldier was killed and three seriously wounded when the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) engaged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at Pethalai, 30 km north of Batticaloa, as the Tigers were preparing to cross the Valaichenai lagoon to Naasiyantheevu around 8:30 p.m. last night, said sources in Valaichenai.
The SLA had gone to Pethalai on a tip off that a party of Tigers were preparing to make the crossing.
The confrontation which lasted about one hour, began when the LTTE opened fire on the approaching SLA. The SLA retaliated with small arms fire and mortars.
It is not known if there were any casualties amongst the LTTE.
The injured soldiers were evacuated to the Valaichenai Hospital after which they were transferred to Polonnaruwa Hospital by helicopter.
The LTTE uses Pethalai, which is on the shore of the Valaichenai lagoon, as a loading point when transporting goods to Naasiyantheevu which is under LTTE control.