Thousands displaced in fresh Sri Lankan offensive

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 March 2007, 13:35 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army has launched heavy artillery barrage towards Liberation Tigers controlled territories in Batticaloa district since Thursday morning as Sri Lankan Special Task Force (STF) began a two pronged ground offensive from Chenkalady through A-15 (Batticaloa Badulla Road) and from Pulukunawa and Syambalanduwa. Around 10 000 civilians were forced to flee from the shelling inside the LTTE territory. Liberation Tigers said their fighters were engaged in a defensive fight on two fronts. Two civilians were killed in SLA shelling on Thandiyadi. Access routes were closed Thursday morning. Wireless telephone link and mobile network remain dead in the district.

The ground offensive from Chenkalady through Koduwamadu, 15 km northwest of Batticaloa, was thwarted, according to LTTE's Military Spokesman Irasiah Ilanthirayan.

LTTE fighters had seized weapons, ammunitions and recovered a dead body of a Sri Lankan trooper, Mr. Ilanthirayan further said.

Meanwhile, another STF ground movement was launched from the southwest, into LTTE territory from Pulukunawa and Siambalanduwa.

Sri Lanka Army was firing artillery shells from Valaichenai SLA base, Kommathurai SLA camp and 23-3 Brigade Commanding base of Sri Lanka Army (SLA), located near the Weber stadium in Batticaloa city, according to the reports from SLA controlled areas in Batticaloa.

Access routes to LTTE controlled area via Ampilanthurai and Manmunai remain closed Thursday morning.


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