SLA claims early success
[TamilNet, Friday, 29 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Heavy fighting is reported between the Liberation Tigers (LTTE) and the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) near Ambakamam, north-east of the strategic Mankulam junction in the northern Vanni region, said sources in Vavuniya. Four SLA soldiers were killed and 22 were wounded in the latest fighting, said SLA sources.
Twelve SLA soldiers wounded in yesterdays fighting have been admitted to the Anuradhapura hospital, they said.
The Voice Tigers (VoT) said in its morning broadcast that the Tigers are fiercely resisting the SLA troops that have been trying to advance since yesterday morning. The Radio said that the troops are being backed by Air Force jets, tanks and artillery.
Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) helicopter gunships and Kfir jets have been flying frequent sorties in the direction of Mankulam, from Vavuniya since this morning, said sources in Vavuniya, 37 km north of Mankulam.
Meanwhile SLA sources in Colombo said that the troops have been trying to advance from their positions in Olumadu, east of Mankulam junction since yesterday morning
and that the yesterdays fighting was in their favour.
They said that the Liberation Tigers had suffered heavy casualties when the airforce jets bombed the LTTE positions.
However, they declined to reveal further details.
Yesterday, Sri Lanka's Deputy Minister for Defence Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatta visited the forward areas of Jayasikurui along with the Army commander and other army senior officials.
Senior SLA commanders who accompanied the minister had stayed on in the forward areas, monitoring the situation, said SLA sources.