Tigers overrun eastern TELO camp
[TamilNet, Thursday, 16 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
A small commando team of Liberation Tigers destroyed the TELO camp in Araipattai, a large village seven kilometers south of the Batticaloa town in the early hours of the morning yesterday.
The TELO is the largest militia group operating with the Sri Lankan army and the Special Task Force in the eastern province.
Although most TELO cadres took to their heels as soon as LTTE fire hit the camp which is located in the interior road of the village, three were killed and three wounded.
Those who made good their escape found refuge in the Special Task Force camp, a kilometer east of the TELO base. The Tiger commandos removed three assault rifles from the dead TELO men.
The LTTE's commando unit remained for more than an hour in the village. Residents said that the STF did not venture out for a confrontation with the Tiger commandos fearing that a large force was involved in the assault on the TELO camp.
The Liberation Tigers had come in two boats across the Batticaloa lagoon through Karayakkanthivu in the western hinterland which is under their control.
A week before this incident, a massive search operation was carried out by two battalions of the STF in the Tamil villages further south of Araipattai on the Kalmunai road.
The operation was aimed at curbing LTTE activity in these Tamil villages.
The Kalmunai road is the only main access route to the Battaicaloa town from the south which is currently controlled by the Sri Lankan government. The town lies between the vast Batticaloa lagoon and the sea.